Cervical Conditions | OB-GYN


Cervical Conditions

At UC Davis Health, our highly skilled gynecologists deliver comprehensive care and hope for healing. You’ll receive all the tests you need and the best available therapies.

Medically reviewed on Aug. 02, 2023.

Gynecologist talking with a female patient during a medical consultation in the gynecological office

What Are Cervical Conditions?

Your cervix is a hollow pelvic organ between your uterus and vagina. Bodily fluids like cervical mucus, menstrual blood and semen pass through it. The cervix is also part of your birth canal, which a baby passes through before being born.

Conditions affecting your cervix can impact your sexual health and ability to become or stay pregnant. Cervical cancer and precancerous conditions are additional issues.

These issues can raise concerns about your well-being. But at UC Davis Health, you’ll find caring, experienced providers who deliver compassionate care in clinics close to home. Some services are available through virtual visits.


Cervix Issue Symptoms

Some conditions of the cervix, especially cervical cancer, do not cause symptoms in early stages. Others bring discomfort or other bothersome issues right away.

You may experience:

  • Bleeding between periods or after intercourse
  • Cervical mucus that's white or yellow and may have a bad odor
  • Heavy menstrual flow
  • Pain when urinating
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Unusual tiredness (fatigue)

Causes and Risk Factors of Cervix Issues

There are a couple things that can cause cervical issues, as well as some risk factors.

Causes of Cervix Issues


Causes of Cervix IssuesA baby passing through your cervix during childbirth can cause tissue damage. As your cervix heals, cells can get trapped in cervical mucus glands, forming a cyst.


Swelling and irritation from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause polyps, which are bumps on the surface of your cervix.

Cervical Condition Risk Factors

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection

HPV raises the risk of cervical cancer.

Previous Cervical Surgeries

Surgery to remove cervical cancer or precancerous growths can impact cervix functioning. You may face a higher risk of issues such as cervical insufficiency.


Diagnosing Cervical Conditions

We start with a thorough evaluation considering all potential causes for your symptoms. After learning about your medical history, we may perform tests such as a pelvic exam, Pap test or imaging studies.

At UC Davis Health, these evaluations are easy to access. Gynecologists provide prompt evaluations for urgent concerns. Our capabilities also include in-office ultrasound studies when necessary, so you don’t have to wait for answers to important questions.

Care may also involve sophisticated tissue sampling methods. These include loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP), cone biopsy and endocervical curettage.

Cervical Condition Care at UC Davis Health

The therapies that are best for you depend on the diagnosis. We tailor care to your medical needs and personal preferences, giving you the best chances for excellent outcomes.

We refer you to additional UC Davis Health experts for specialized care for complex conditions, including cervical cancer and high-risk pregnancies.


Antibiotics may be necessary for cervicitis, cervical inflammation due to an STI.


We use a variety of techniques to remove cancerous or precancerous growths. They include cryotherapy, which uses extremely cold gas or ablation, which involves heat.

High-Risk Prenatal Care

Some cervical conditions raise the chances of delivering prematurely. High-risk pregnancy care, including medications, bed rest and procedures (cervical cerclage), lowers the likelihood of going into labor early.

Cervical Cancer Treatment

Cancers that penetrate your cervix lining may require surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. UC Davis Health delivers comprehensive cervical cancer care that includes the latest therapies.


Preventing Conditions of the Cervix

You can prevent conditions like cervix inflammation by practicing safe sex. Getting an HPV shot is an additional step to lower the risk of HPV-related conditions like cervical cancer.

How common is cervical insufficiency?

1 in 100Pregnancies are at risk due to a weakened cervix

What is the risk of cervical cancer due to HPV?

10%Of women with HPV have lasting infections that raise the risk of cervical cancer

Sources: American Pregnancy Organization: Incompetent Cervix: Weakened Cervix

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Basic Information About HPV and Cancer.

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