Mucopurulent cervicitis (MPC) is identified by a purulent (pus-containing) or mucopurulent (mucus- and-pus-containing) discharge that is seen in the endocervical canal. Cervicitis is also suggested by easily induced cervical bleeding. Essentially, this common condition entails infections of the endocervix. No statistics are kept on mucopurulent cervicitis because it is not a reportable disease, but many women who are young and sexually active get these infections, including women who are pregnant, those who take oral birth control pills, and those who do not use any barrier method of protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
MPC can be caused by chlamydia and gonorrhea bacteria, by viruses such as herpesvirus, or by protozoa such as trichomonas. Often symptom-free, mucopurulent cervicitis can be found on physical examination and examination of discharge under a microscope. This disease is transmitted by sexual contact or contact with sex toys. Genital rubbing may sometimes transmit muco-purulent cervicitis.
An infected person can have yellow vaginal discharge, spotting with blood, redness of the cervix, pain with intercourse, and burning during urination. A doctor can diagnose mucopurulent cervicitis by observations during a patient s examination and by microscopic study of discharge. A doctor may have cultures done for specific bacteria and will try to determine whether the patient has pelvic inflammatory disease. Patients who have MPC should be tested for Chlamydia trachomatis and for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, but mucopurulent cervicitis is not a sensitive predictor of infection with these organisms because most women who have chlamydia or gonorrhea do not have MPC.
MPC can persist even after several courses of treatment with antimicrobial therapy. If symptoms persist, women should return to the doctor for evaluation and abstain from intercourse even if prescribed therapy is complete. Partners of those being treated for MPC should be notified, examined, and treated for any sexually transmitted disease identified or suspected in the index patient.
The individual whose partner is diagnosed with mucopurulent cervicitis should be evaluated regardless of whether symptoms and evidence of infection exist. When a patient is treated for the infection that is underlying mucopurulent cervicitis, the cervicitis clears up in most cases. If the cause is bacterial, the patient is prescribed an antibiotic. When trichomonas or herpesvirus is the cause, the physician treats the infection. Extremely important in mucopurulent cervicitis is follow-up: a woman must make sure the problem has been resolved to ensure it does not escalate to pelvic inflammatory disease.
An infected person can infect another during sexual contact. Condoms are not 100 percent effective in preventing any sexually transmitted disease. A person should not try to treat herself or take another person s medication. If a woman douches, that can also make diagnosis difficult in that it hides symptoms.
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