Chapter 2 – The Cervix


Inflammation of the cervix, or cervicitis, may be responsible for post coital or intermenstrual bleeding. Depending on the cause of the inflammation there may be other associated symptoms such as vaginal discharge, pain with intercourse or a change in the odour of vaginal secretions.

The main cause of cervicitis in sexually active people is a sexually transmissible infection (STI). The most common STI causing cervicitis is Chlamydia trachomatis or, less often, Neisseria gonorrhoea.(5) Mycoplasma genitalium, Trichomonas vaginalis and genital herpes are other possible causes (also see Chapter 12: Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs) and Blood Borne Viruses). In people with a low risk of STIs, cervicitis is often not associated with an identifiable pathogen (5)(see Sexually Transmissible Infections in Chapter 4: The Vagina and Vulva).


Check for Chlamydia in all cases of post coital or intermenstrual bleeding.

Figure 2.2 Transformation zone of the cervix

Reproduced by permission of CancerCare Manitoba, CervixCheck. The Pap test learning module for healthcare providers [Internet]. Manitoba, CervixCheck; 2009 June [Updated 2019 March; cited 2019 April 10]. Available from: ... Buy now