While sexually transmitted infections (STI) are the leading cause of cervicitis, the condition can also be caused by allergies, injuries and other noninfectious causes.
Yes, you can get cervicitis without a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Nonetheless, sexually transmitted infections or STIs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes and trichomonas, cause most cases of cervicitis.
Cervicitis may also be caused by other reasons, such as:
- Allergies to spermicidal creams or latex condoms
- Exposure to chemicals, such as deodorants and douches
- Injury to the cervix may occur by inserting an intrauterine device (IUD), cervical cap or diaphragm
- Overgrowth of bacteria normally residing in the vagina (bacterial vaginosis)
- Fungal infection in case of uncontrolled diabetes mellitus
Some of the risk factors for cervicitis include:
- Having multiple sexual partners
- Having a history of STI
- Being sexually active at an early age
- Having a high-risk sexual behavior
- Having sexual partners who have a history of STIs or a high-risk sexual behavior
What is cervicitis?
Cervicitis is inflammation of the cervix, which is the lower, narrow end of the uterus that forms a canal between the uterus and vagina.
Cervicitis may be caused by an infection (such as STIs) or a noninfectious cause (such as allergies). Depending on its duration, the condition may be either acute or chronic.
- Acute cervicitis is usually caused by an infection, although it may also be the result of other conditions, such as irritants or allergies. It is sudden in its onset and will resolve quickly with proper treatment.
- Chronic cervicitis, however, has a gradual onset and persists for a long period. It is usually caused by noninfectious origins, such as prolonged exposure to irritants (including deodorants, condoms or tampons).
Cervicitis may or may not cause any symptoms and may be incidentally diagnosed. The condition, however, must not be ignored because untreated cervicitis may cause complications, such as:
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases or PID (an infection of the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes)
- Ectopic pregnancy (a condition in which the fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus)
- Increased risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection from an infected partner
- Chronic pelvic pain
What are the symptoms of cervicitis?
Usually, cervicitis is asymptomatic and may be incidentally diagnosed when the female undergoes a pelvic examination for another reason, such as pregnancy.
When present, the symptoms of cervicitis generally include:
How is cervicitis treated?
Treatment of cervicitis primarily depends on its cause. Other factors that influence treatment include the age of the patient, duration of the condition and the symptom severity.
- Cervicitis caused by allergies or irritants may be managed by avoiding the use of the offending agents, such as feminine hygiene products or spermicidal jellies.
- Bacterial infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis, may be treated with antibiotics.
- Antiviral medications may be prescribed to treat cervicitis caused by genital herpes. This treatment controls inflammation and may help limit the spread of infection although the infections cannot be cured.
The doctor may recommend avoiding high-risk sexual behavior and abstaining from sex until the treatment is completed.
Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team. Cervicitis. Ada Health. https://ada.com/conditions/cervicitis/
Top Can You Get Cervicitis Without an STD Related Articles
What Are the Best Home Remedies for Vaginal Itching?What Is Vaginal itching? Learn what remedies you can use at home to help to relieve your symptoms. Women may experience vaginal itching inside their vagina or on their external genitals. Some causes include bacterial vaginosis, contact dermatitis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
ChlamydiaChlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the U.S. Signs and symptoms of chlamydia, a bacterial infection, include vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, burning with urination, blood in the urine, and feelings of urinary urgency and frequency. Untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Chlamydia is diagnosed with a culture or by identification of the genetic material of the bacteria. Treatment of chlamydia consists of a course of antibiotics.
Gonorrhea In WomenGonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge, burning or frequent urination, and redness, swelling, burning, and itching of the vaginal area. Gonorrhea can be treated with injectable (penicillin) or oral medications.
Is It Genital Warts or Skin Tags?How do I know if I have genital warts or skin tags? Learn about each condition and how to tell the difference. The 10 most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States include human papillomavirus (HPV), trichomoniasis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and more. STDs (STIs) are most likely to be spread by sexual contact including vaginal, anal or oral sex.
What Does It Mean If I’m Having a Lot of Vaginal Discharge?It's normal for women to have some amount of vaginal discharge. Learn more about what it can mean if you have more vaginal discharge than usual or if your discharge has an unusual appearance.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)Common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in women include gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes, and HPV infection (genital warts). Learn about types, symptoms, and treatment.
Vagina PictureThe vagina is an elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. See a picture of the Vagina and learn more about the health topic.
Douching (Vaginal Douche)Women douche for a variety of reasons, however, doctors and other healthcare professional do not recommend douching. Douching can change the vaginal flora, and make women more prone to vaginal infections. Health problems linked to douching include sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and vaginal irritation.
Vaginal Health Quiz: Test Your Medical IQTake this Vaginal Health Quiz to learn about about common problems that women experience, and when to see a doctor about problems down there.
Vaginal Pain (Vulvodynia)Vulvodynia or vaginal pain, genital pain is a condition in which women have chronic vulvar pain with no known cause. There are two types of vulvodynia, generalized vulvodynia, and vulvar vestibulitis. Researchers are trying to find the causes of vulvodynia, for example, nerve irritation, genetic factors, hypersensitivity to yeast infections, muscle spasms, and hormonal changes. The most common symptoms of vaginal pain (vulvodynia) are burning, rawness, itching, stinging, aching, soreness, and throbbing. There are a variety of treatments that can ease the symptoms of vulvodynia (vaginal pain).
Vaginitis (Inflammation of the Vagina)Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina. Vaginitis can be caused by infections, menopause, or poor hygiene. Symptoms of vaginitis include vaginal itching, discharge, odor, pain, or discomfort. Treatment for vaginitis depends on the cause. Antibiotics may be necessary for some forms of vaginitis.
Women's Health: Tips for Dealing With DrynessLots of parts of your body can become dry, especially as women get older. Find out the different causes and what you can do about them.
Vaginal Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infections in women are caused by an organism called Candida albicans. Symptoms of a vaginal yeast infection include vaginal pain with urination, vaginal discharge, odor, and itching.
Treatment is generally OTC medications. A man can contract a yeast infection from his female sexual partner. Symptoms of a yeast infection in men include penile itching. Treatment is with oral or topical medication.