Last reviewed 01/2018

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.