What You Need to Know About Cervix Infection
Cervix infection has serious implications for women. A cervix infection can be caused by bacteria or by virus and is usually manifested as an inflammation of the cervix. A colposcopy examination is considered the best way to diagnose a cervix infection.
The cervix refers to the lower, narrow part of the uterus in the female anatomy which is just above the upper part of the vagina. An infection in the cervical area may become apparent through a range of symptoms such as vaginal itching, pain, burning sensation during urination or intercourse and in some cases severe cramping. There may also be increased vaginal discharge and bleeding between periods. If the infection spreads into the system, a patient may also experience fever, nausea and severe abdominal pain. There are several probable causes for onset of cervical infection and the treatments prescribed by doctors will very much depend on what has caused the original infection.
The proximity of the vagina to the cervix means that a vaginal infection can potentially easily become a cervical infection. Sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and trichomoniasis can lead to cervicitis, which is an inflammation of the cervix. Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Genital herpes, Chlamydia are among likely triggers of a cervix infection as also Candida or yeast infection. Those who indulge in high-risk sexual behavior or with multiple partners are considered vulnerable to the infection.
Sometimes a tampon left inside for too long or a chemical douche may irritate the area and leave it prone to infection. Some contraceptive have also been known to cause this problem. Some women are allergic to the latex in condoms or to spermicides and this leaves their cervix susceptible to infection. Some women find that their bodies cannot handle intra-uterine birth control devices. Their bodies reject the presence of an alien object and this can again leave them vulnerable for infections in the area.
Given the wide range of probable causes for cervix infection, it is recommended that a patient should seek medical help promptly. An untreated cervix infection can lead to major complications such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, spontaneous abortion, complications during child delivery and even cervical cancer. So it is important to take your symptoms seriously. The doctor will perform a physical examination of the cervix while looking for external indicators of infection like swelling or reddishness of skin. The cervical examination may be painful because of the infection. The doctor will also conduct a pap smear by swabbing the cervix to rule out cervical cancer. The doctor may conduct a colposcopy, using a binocular like instrument to get a magnified view of the cervix. The patient may be advised to get a biopsy if the cervix seems abnormal.
The doctor is likely to prescribe antibiotics if the infection is bacterial, as in the case of gonorrhea and Chlamydia, and an anti-viral agent for an infection like genital herpes, which is caused by a virus. If the woman experiencing the cervix infection, the doctors may have to work around some factors in finding a treatment option and an infectious diseases specialist may be involved in deciding a course of treatment.
If the antibiotics or early rounds of treatment prove ineffectual surgery may be needed. If your cervix continues to stay swollen and red that area may be cauterized using heat as in electrocoagulation or be frozen as in cryotherapy (freezing). Laser treatment of the infected area is also a possible course of action. Usually these are not necessary as most cervix infection can be controlled by oral medication.