The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC Health) wrote that cervicitis is an inflammation of the lining of the cervix. The cervix is the tip of the uterus and extends into the vagina.
Cervicitis is very common, affecting more than half of all women at some point during their adult life, said the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Mayo Clinic wrote most often, cervicitis results from common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and genital herpes.
The condition can also develop from noninfectious causes. NCBI said in some cases it may be due to devices such as a cervical cap, pessary or diaphragm.
The University of Chicago Medicine (UChicago Medicine) wrote less commonly, cervicitis is caused by sensitivities to certain chemicals, including those in spermicides, latex and deodorant tampons.
Mayo Clinic added an overgrowth of bacteria normally present in the vagina also can lead to cervicitis.
NYC Health wrote most women with cervicitis have no symptoms. If they do, they may include abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding, pain during or after sex, and burning or pain during urination. NCBI said others include pelvic pressure or heaviness.
If left untreated, cervicitis caused by an STI can cause severe pain and permanent damage to the reproductive system, making it hard or impossible for a woman to get or stay pregnant warned NYC Health. Left untreated in pregnancy, cervicitis caused by an STI can lead to premature labor and miscarriage. It can also cause infections in newborns’ eyes and lungs.
Women may not need treatment for cervicitis that's not caused by an STI, wrote the Mayo Clinic. Prescription medications often can clear up the inflammation of cervicitis. Doctors recommend both partners be treated to ensure they don’t get infected again and not have sex until both have finished treatment.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said that additional treatment includes silver nitrate (to destroy damaged cells) or cryosurgery (to freeze and kill abnormal cells).