Cervicitis: Care Instructions

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Female pelvic organs

Overview

Cervicitis means that your cervix is inflamed. The cervix is the part of your uterus that opens into your vagina.

This problem is most often caused by an infection. Some people get it after they have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. It can also be caused by irritation from some types of birth control. Two examples are the cervical cap or diaphragm. Your doctor may do some tests to help find the cause of the problem.

It is very important to treat cervicitis. If you don't, you could have serious health problems. For this reason, you may need a test after your treatment to make sure the infection is gone.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Take your antibiotics as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • If your doctor prescribed antifungal medicine, use it as directed.
  • While you are being treated, do not have sex. If your treatment is one dose of antibiotics, wait at least 7 days after you take your medicine before you have any kind of sexual contact. Even if you use a condom, you could get infected again.
  • It's important to tell any sex partners that you have cervicitis. It may be related to an STI. Sex partners should get tested and then treated if they have an STI. This is true even if they don't have symptoms.
  • Do not douche. It can change the normal balance of substances in your vagina.
  • Do not use tampons while you are being treated.

To prevent STIs

  • Use condoms every time you have sex. Use them from the start to the end of sexual contact.
  • Talk to any partners before you have sex. Find out if they have or are at risk for any sexually transmitted infection (STI). Keep in mind that a person may be able to spread an STI even if they don't have symptoms.
  • Do not have sex with anyone who has symptoms of an STI. These include sores on the genitals or mouth.
  • Having one sex partner (who does not have STIs and does not have sex with anyone else) can reduce your risk of getting STIs.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse pain in your belly or pelvis.
  • You have vaginal discharge that has increased in amount or smells bad.
  • You have unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • You have a new or higher fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.