Dr. M.J. Bazos, MD
Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix. (The
cervix is the structure that makes up the opening into the uterus.) Cervicitis
can be caused by infections such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or Trichomonas.
Viral infections such as herpes or the virus that causes genital warts (human
papillomavirus [HPV]) can also cause cervicitis. Sometimes cervicitis can be
caused by a foreign body such as an intrauterine device (IUD), or by a forgotten
tampon, diaphragm, or pessary. Cervicitis is very common. It is usually easily
curable once the cause is diagnosed and the appropriate treatment
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Cervicitis may not cause any
symptoms and may only be discovered at a routine gynecologic examination.
Sometimes cervicitis can cause increased vaginal discharge, which may appear
yellow or creamy colored. Also, very slight vaginal bleeding may occur that may
appear as a pinkish or brownish discharge. If cervicitis is caused by chlamydia
or gonorrhea and the infection spreads into the fallopian tubes, it can cause
pelvic pain and infertility. If cervicitis is caused by Trichomonas, you
may experience itching, irritation, and increased vaginal discharge. Generally,
Trichomonas does not cause pelvic pain or infertility. If cervicitis is
caused by herpes, you probably will not have any symptoms. Herpes generally only
causes symptoms if the herpes infection is external, on the
treatment of cervicitis depends on the cause. If cervicitis is caused by
chlamydia, gonorrhea, or Trichomonas, antibiotics are prescribed. Viruses
cannot be cured, although a medication such as acyclovir can lessen the severity
and shorten the duration of the symptoms. If an antibiotic is prescribed,
sometimes a vaginal yeast infection will follow. Taking antibiotics can make it
more likely to develop a yeast infection because the antibiotic
“kills” the “healthy, protective” bacteria. Lack of the
healthy bacteria allows
the yeast to grow.
Medications that are used to treat herpes are generally well tolerated.
• Take all your medication as
prescribed, even if your symptoms
• If symptoms of a vaginal
yeast infection develop, use an over-the-counter
• Protect yourself from
sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, Trichomonas,
herpes, and the wart virus (human papillomavirus [HPV]); know your partner and
have your partner use a condom.
• If metronidazole
(Flagyl) is prescribed for a Trichomonas infection, do not drink any
alcoholic beverage. Combining metronidazole and an alcoholic beverage can cause
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• If you continue to have
symptoms such as increased vaginal discharge or slight vaginal bleeding after
the medication has been completed.
If a fever or pelvic pain develops while you are taking
• If you do not tolerate
the medication for any reason (e.g., the medication causes nausea), or you have
allergic symptoms or signs develop (e.g., a rash).