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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

This may follow bacterial infection at delivery or abortion, or may be due to Chlamydia trachomatis. Rarely, it is due to tuberculosis.

Presentation is typically with:

  • pelvic pain
  • discharge
  • superficial dyspareunia

On examination, the cervix is enlarged by multiple Nabothian follicles - retention cysts of the cervical glands - which may become secondarily infected.


  • cervical smear for cytology
  • cervical and vaginal swabs for bacteriological culture
  • antibiotics if a specific organism is identifiable
  • superficial lesions - cervical cautery as an outpatient procedure without anaesthesia, either electocautery or cryosurgery
  • deep lesions - deeper cauterisation or conisation under general anaesthesia

The patient must be informed that cautery causes a marked discharge for 2-3 weeks and may be associated with secondary haemorrhage around the 10th day as the necrotic slough is shed.

Cervical stenosis rarely complicates cautery.

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