Inflammation of the cervix
Inflammation of the external cervix (Portio vaginalis uteri), i.e. the connection between the cervix (Cervix uteri) and the vagina is actually not really an inflammation at all.
It is much more of a Tissue migration of the uterine tissue (Columnar epithelium) towards the vagina (Squamous epithelium).
If the uterine tissue can now be detected in the vagina, one speaks of one Ectopia. However, this tissue shift is usually no pathological changebut a completely normal, common condition.
At the transition area (transformation zone) of these two types of tissue, which in sexually mature and pregnant women on the cervical surface (Portio surface), pathological changes can always occur, such as Infections (e.g. by human papillomavirus (HPV)), Growths (Polyps, cysts), Cancers or Inflammation come.
Symptoms of inflammation of the cervix or tissue displacement can include bleeding, for example. These can occur during or after sexual intercourse or be noticeable as changes in menstrual bleeding (irregular, heavier, longer).
Inflammation of the cervix can also develop (Portioectopy) due to an increased discharge (fluorine) demonstrate.
Also read our topic: Pain in the cervix
Cervical inflammation pain
Pain in the lower abdomen and contact pain (so-called cervical pain) are also typical for inflammation of the cervix.
You may also experience pain when urinating. This is usually stabbing, burning pain. In addition, local itching often occurs.
For more information, see: Pain in the cervix
Bleeding from inflammation of the cervix
A typical symptom of inflammation of the cervix is contact bleeding e.g. during sexual intercourse or during the gynecological examination.
However, spontaneous bleeding independent of the menstrual period is also possible. Usually it is light bleeding, so-called spotting.
If the bleeding is profuse, other causes such as uterine fibroids, endometriosis, or uterine tumors should be considered. In addition to bleeding, if the cervix is inflamed, there is a foul-smelling yellowish discharge. In addition, women with inflammation of the cervix usually suffer from pain.
Spotting can be caused not only by inflammation of the cervix, but also by various causes. Read more about this at: Spotting - what's behind it?
A tissue change or tissue displacement is mostly of hormonal origin.
The mesh (Squamous epithelium) of the external cervix (Portio vaginalis uteri) can be replaced by the uterine tissue due to hormonal influences.
Which bacteria cause a cervical infection?
Inflammation of the cervix is caused by bacteria rising from the vagina.
The bacteria can be transmitted either through sexual contact or poor hygiene. These include bacteria such as chlamydia, mycoplasma, gonococci or E. coli. Viruses such as HPV or genital herpes can also cause inflammation of the cervix. Depending on the underlying cause, the symptoms can vary somewhat. When infected with gonococci, there is often a green-yellowish discharge. The other bacteria tend to lead to a yellowish discharge (fluorine).
Since an inflammation of the cervix is often caused by sexually transmitted pathogens, we also recommend our website: Sexually transmitted diseases
As a rule, tissue migrations that are not painful and classified as harmless (Portioectopias) are not treated.
However, untreated infections or illnesses can develop into complications and serious illnesses.
Mention should be made here of the genital wart, which is an infection with human papilloma viruses (HPV). On the one hand, these warts can cause severe discomfort, and on the other hand, there is the possibility of cervical cancer (Cervical cancer) to develop. Therefore, such an infection should be treated immediately and intensively with chemical agents, lasers or, if necessary, surgically. It is also important to check your partner for a possible infection with HPV and, if necessary, to treat them as well.
So-called polyps (protrusions of the mucous membrane in the area of the cervix / cervix) and myomas (benign growths of the cervix) should also be removed, as they have a very low potential for degeneration into malignant cancers or can cause discomfort by rapidly increasing in size.
These home remedies can help
In general, personal hygiene should be observed. Anti-inflammatory Sitz baths or the application of zinc ointment can relieve local itching in particular.
However, home remedies should only be used in addition to drug therapy. An inflammation of the cervix should always be treated with antibiotics or antivirals, depending on the pathogen, in order to prevent further infection.
If the inflammation of the uterus is treated only with home remedies, it can lead to inflammation of the uterus with further complications. Read more about this under: Inflammation of the uterus
When is antibiotic therapy necessary?
An inflammation of the cervix should always be treated with medication in order to avoid ascending infections and their complications (e.g. infertility).
The choice of drug depends on the causative agent. Antibiotics are given when you are infected with bacteria. Different antibiotics are prescribed depending on the bacterium.
Chlamydia are mainly treated with the antibiotic doxycycline, and during pregnancy with macrolides (azithromycin). In the case of an infection with gonococci, however, ceftriaxone (also during pregnancy) or ciprofloxacin are effective. In the case of sexually transmitted diseases, the partner should always be treated as well in order to avoid a ping-pong effect.
Since inflammation of the cervix is often caused by a chlamydial infection, you may also be interested in: Antibiotic therapy for chlamydial infection
Can suppository therapy help?
Therapy with vaginal suppositories is usually not common. Since this is already an ascending infection from the vagina, therapy must always be systematic (via the blood) to prevent further spread. By inserting a suppository, bacteria can also be introduced into the vagina.
Any manipulation should be avoided during therapy. Local therapy with suppositories is more likely to be carried out when there is inflammation of the vaginal mucosa.
Find out more about the use of vaginal suppositories at: Vagisan
Duration of a cervical infection
How long an inflammation of the cervix lasts cannot be said in general terms.
Early diagnosis and identification of the pathogen is crucial in order to be able to administer the right drug quickly. An infection with bacteria is treated with antibiotics and an infection with viruses with antivirals. If therapy is initiated quickly and adequately, the infection can be quickly brought under control. In the case of an uncomplicated infection with gonococci, e.g. a single dose of ceftriaxone plus azithromycin is sufficient. In rare cases the infection does not go away completely and becomes chronic, which usually leads to permanent infertility.
Is there a prophylaxis?
Inflammation of the cervix and uterus (Portioectopy) is usually harmless and natural, so no precautionary measures need to be taken.
However, regular preventive examinations at the gynecologist are very important in order to discover the development of undesirable, more threatening cell changes and to treat them as quickly as possible.
To prevent human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and the possible development of cervical cancer (Cervical cancer) early vaccination against HPV is very important. This should be done before the first sexual intercourse if possible and can significantly reduce the risk of cervical cancer.
Inflammation of the cervix during pregnancy
Inflammation of the cervix during pregnancy is a serious pregnancy complication.
The inflammation can quickly advance through the cervix into the uterus and infect the unborn child. Such infections can cause serious malformations or trigger a miscarriage.
Chlamydia are the most common pathogens that are transmitted through sexual contact. The infection is asymptomatic in many women. During vaginal delivery, the newborn ingests the bacteria. Since newborns do not yet have a strong immune system, severe pneumonia can occur. After the birth, the cervix is still slightly open for some time. Bacteria and viruses can rise particularly easily here and cause inflammation of the uterine lining or ovaries.
Since inflammation of the cervix is one of the serious complications of pregnancy, we strongly recommend our website: Pregnancy Complications - What Are The Signs?
How is the diagnosis of cervical inflammation made?
Inflammation of the cervix (Portioectopy) can usually be determined during a preventive examination by the gynecologist.
When the cervix is closely inspected, it often reveals reddening and increased vascular markings.
With the help of a speculum (an examination instrument in gynecology with which the vaginal leaves are spread apart and the vagina can unfold), the doctor can examine the external cervix (portio vaginalis uteri) and the cervix (Cervix uteri) better examine for inflammation of the cervix and tissue changes. In addition, the cervix can be better visualized and assessed through a vaginal magnifying glass examination with the help of a light source (colposcopy).
During these examinations, tissue or secretion samples can also be taken from the area of the cervix.
The doctor should also obtain a tissue swab from the cervix and cervix. This special smear is called the Pap test (or Papanicalau smear, cervical smear). The doctor inserts a cotton swab or spatula into the vagina and removes as many cells as possible from the area of the external cervix. The cell material obtained is then processed in a laboratory and examined for inflammatory changes, infections or cancer.
The findings can then be based on a classification (Papanicalau classification) can be classified in Pap 0 to Pap V. With Pap 0 the material obtained could not be evaluated and a new smear should be obtained. Pap I shows a completely normal tissue pattern. On the other hand, slight inflammatory changes can be seen in Pap II. In the case of Pap III, a gynecological examination (colposcopy) should be carried out due to slight to moderate changes and another cell smear after 3 months.In Pap IV there is a suspicion of cancer in the early stages due to serious cell changes, although in Pap V this was proven to be malignant.
If it is a Pap IV or V stage, or if there are constantly occurring (recurrent) cell changes (Pap III), a tissue section (biopsy) can be taken from the area of the cervix and the cervix. This examination is called conization, whereby the section should be rather flat in young women and rather steep in older women (after the end of menstrual bleeding / postmenopausal).
The speculum examination, the colposcopy and the smear are usually not painful, but the examinations can be perceived as unpleasant. Since the removal of a tissue section from the area of the cervix (Conization) can be very painful, this examination is performed under a brief general anesthetic. The procedure does not usually take longer than 20-30 minutes.