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Cervicitis is an irritation of the cervix caused by a number of different organisms. Cervicitis is generally classified as either acute, meaning the onset of symptoms is severe and sudden, or chronic, lasting over a period of months or longer.
Acute cervicitis can be caused by any of a number of infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or herpes, and is often confused with vaginitis.
Chronic cervicitis is common in women following childbirth. It is also often associated with pregnancy and the use of oral contraceptives, probably due to an increased blood supply to the cervix as a result of increased hormone levels. Less commonly, cervicitis is caused by sensitivities to certain chemicals, including those in spermicides, latex, and tampons.
The following are the most common symptoms of cervicitis. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include the following:
Since infections within the vagina are easily passed to the cervix, where the infecting organism is harbored, the tissue of the cervix can become inflamed and/or form a cervical erosion, or open sore. One early sign of this is a pus-like vaginal discharge. In addition, as the cervical erosion worsens, cervical ulceration may develop.
The symptoms of cervicitis may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical and pelvic examination, diagnostic procedures for cervicitis may include the following:
Specific treatment for cervicitis will be determined by your physician based on:
Treatment may include: