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What Is the Treatment for a Cervical Infection?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Treatment for a cervical infection usually involves medication to kill the causative organism. Some patients may also need anti-inflammatory drugs to manage pain and inflammation. If the patient is pregnant, her doctor may refer her to an infectious disease specialist for a discussion on how the infection might affect the pregnancy, as it can potentially be a cause for concern. An obstetrician may also be involved in this consult.

Cervical infections occur when viruses, bacteria, and other organisms colonize the cervix. Sometimes patients do not have symptoms, while in other cases the patient may notice pain, a smelly discharge, and abdominal bloating with a cervical infection. A doctor can perform a scraping of the surface of the cervix and send it to a pathologist for evaluation. The report usually comes back quickly so the doctor can provide the patient with medication as soon as possible.

Cervicitis, as it is known, is not necessarily the result of a sexually transmitted infection. One potential cause of a cervical infection is genital herpes, a known sexually transmitted disease (STD), but it can also be caused by bacteria and other organisms. The pathology report will determine which medication to use to treat the infection. It may be possible to cure the infection or to suppress the symptoms to make the patient more comfortable. If the patient still experiences distress, anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful, as can treatments like hot packs placed on the pelvic region.

It is important to treat a cervical infection, even if it remains asymptomatic. These infections can cause cellular changes over time, and this may lead to the development of cervical cancer. With conditions like herpes that are not curable, ongoing management is an important concern as well. Asymptomatic patients can also pass the organism on to their partners, who may experience discomfort or be at risk for issues like infertility. Since some infections are not readily apparent, it is important to receive regular health screenings to check for signs of gynecological disease, even if a patient is not sexually active.

A cervical infection is a cause for concern for pregnant women. There may be a risk for the baby, depending on the type of infection. Some treatments may not be available because they could harm the developing fetus. In other cases, a doctor may be worried about passing the infection on during labor and delivery. In these situations, the doctor may recommend a cesarean section for delivery to protect the health of the new baby.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By ZipLine — On Sep 16, 2013

I just found out that I have this. It's a surprise because I don't have many symptoms of cervical infection. I only have some discharge with odor. I've had many yeast infections before and I think I was expecting a very foul odor and itching that usually comes with yeast infections.

Anyway, I'm glad I went for a check-up because they found this. I'm taking antibiotics now which will last for ten days. I will have to get another pap smear to make sure the infection has cleared up. If not, I will have to get a second course of antibiotics. I hope that won't be necessary.

By SarahGen — On Sep 16, 2013

@turkay1-- HPV is a genital viral infection. I don't know if it can cause cervical infection but I think that HPV can lead to cervical cancer and the treatment for it is different. If abnormal cells are found in the cervix because of HPV, then those cells are usually removed.

Basically, the treatment for cervical infections depend on the cause. If it's a bacterial infection, then antibiotics are given. If it's viral, anti-viral medications can be used.

By candyquilt — On Sep 15, 2013

Can HPV cause cervical infection? If so, what is the treatment in that case?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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