Cervical infections are less common than vaginal infections, especially among women who use reproductive health services. The American Cancer Society estimates that doctors will make 13,170 new cervical cancer diagnoses by the end of 2019 in the United States. More than 4,200 women in the United States will die from cervical cancer this year.
In this article, we look at what is cervix, its functions, cervical cancer and its symptoms and methods of prevention.
What is Cervix?
The cervix is the lower and also the narrow part of the uterus (womb), the place where a baby grows during pregnancy. It mainly connects the main body of the uterus to the vagina (birth canal). The cervix itself is a tube-shaped passage, and about 2 inches long, and though it’s very narrow, it widens during labor so a baby can come out through it.
It also allows for the passage of menstrual blood from the uterus during menstruation and opens and closes to let the sperm travel through the cervix in order to reach the uterus.
The “cervix” is defined as a tissue structure of the uterine wall. It is the main pathway of the vagina. It varies from person to person, consisting mainly of the fibrous tissue, located in the lower part of the uterus and connecting the uterus and the vagina.
Sections of the cervix:
The cervix is divided mainly into:
1. The vaginal part of the neck is the part that can be seen through the vagina during the examination of the female reproductive system.
2. The external aperture, which is an opening in the vaginal part of the neck, its function allows the passage of material between the vagina and the uterus.
3. The inner cervix, or the inner cervical canal, connects the uterus and the outer aperture through the cervix.
4. The area of transformation is the area of overlap between the inner cervix and the vaginal part of the cervix.
The functions of the Cervix
1. The cervix expands during childbirth to allow the child to pass through the birth canal. Then the cervical density increases and closes after the baby is born and the placenta exits.
2. The cervix opens during the menstrual period, allowing the flow of menstruation to pass through it. Secretion of cervical mucus that changes its consistency during the menstrual cycle, in order to prevent or stimulate pregnancy.
3. Cervix allows or prevents sperm from passing from the vagina to the uterus; to fertilize the egg.
Your healthcare provider may perform a cervical Pap test during a health examination to look for changes in cervical cells, including cervical cancer. Other cervical problems include:
Most cervical cancer is caused by HPV infection. To avoid this type of cancer, most women are advised to take the Papanicolaou test.
The cervix expands and opens early during pregnancy, leading to premature birth. Previous surgical procedures on the cervix may be responsible for cervical irregularity.
Cervical inflammation or Cervicitis
Dysplasia of the cervix
Or what is known as the tumor inside the cervical epithelium, a condition in which abnormal growth of cells on the cervix, and may develop into cervical cancer.
Benign or non-cancerous tumors
Benign or non-cancerous is a small growth of tumors on the part of the cervix connected to the vagina. These tumors are painless and harmless, but they can cause vaginal bleeding.
Inflammatory pelvic disease
The inflammatory pelvic disease occurs due to the transmission of cervical infection to the uterus itself and the fallopian tube. It can cause female genital mutilation and make pregnancy more difficult.
Infections of HPV is a group of viruses that can lead to cervical cancer, and there are other types of this less dangerous virus, it may lead to genital warts or cervical warts
The cervix is infected with acute or chronic infections following an incomplete moldy abortion, induced abortion in unhealthy conditions and with sterile tools, or following the birth of cervical ruptures that have not been treated in a timely manner or caused by sexually transmitted diseases. It should be noted that more than (50%) of women have an annual infection with the cervix.
Symptoms of cervical infections:
Congestion and inflation occur in the cervix and women feel pain at the onset of the disease, when touching the cervix or move through the female medical examination, or when sexual intercourse. Then the pain turns down her abdomen and its hurts and remains permanently.
In addition, vaginal secretions, similar to egg white, are usually pure, as long as they do not contain discoloration. On the contrary, they become yellowish or even green with a bad odor that is not desirable. If women neglect the treatment of inflammation, it becomes chronic in the cervix.
The inflammation appears causing the cervical swelling and deep scarring. It makes a fertile environment for germs that find deep in the depths of what is desirable to live, and even move to the inside of the womb and tubes at the desired time. Thus toxins spread to any part of the body and cause general symptoms such as joint pain, spine, and headaches.
It is worth noting that cervical inflammation is one of the most important causes of women’s poor fertility due to the toxins that kill sperm as they pass through the duct.
Around the cervical cavity, a red area, sometimes very red, is known as ulcers. It is the epithelium of cells that encapsulate the surface of the cervix due to chronic inflammation in the area. Symptoms and treatment:
Sometimes without symptoms, and sometimes accompanied by many symptoms, such as the presence of thick mucous secretion and lower back pain, lower abdominal pain during sexual intercourses. The emergence of simple vaginal bleeding after intercourse, painful menstrual cycle, pain during urination, Pregnancy occurs.
Cervical ulcer Treatment:
Ulcers are treated with antibacterial drugs, vaginal douches, and suppositories. But this treatment may not give any positive result in some chronic cases. Therefore, the ulcer is treated by freezing or electrophoresis, and the procedure is done either with a local tube or without the need. The operation takes about 15 minutes.
The cervix may be exposed to several problems, most notably: tumors on the cervix or the so-called “progenitors”. These tumors may differentiate between the internal parts of the uterus.
The cervix may become infected with the vagina. And may result in tumors or ulcers or sometimes bleeding, and may grow bumps on the cervix which are filled with water in the form of bags. But it is not as dangerous as other diseases that affect the cervix.
One of the most common diseases in developing countries is cervical cancer, which is a case of Papilloma. However, the growth rate of this cancer is relatively slow, but the number of deaths due to this type of cancer is widespread. Because most women are only aware of the spread of the disease in the advanced stages of the age of almost 75 years.
The forbidden relations or sexual relationships with many, and cases of early intercourse, the incidence of many cases of sexual diseases, and tobacco smoking have a large role in the disease. The signs of cervical cancer are not apparent until they are spread, which is difficult to treat unless diagnosed early.
There are several signs and Symptoms of cervical infections and Cervical Cancer
Any of the following can be signs or symptoms of cervical cancer:
1. Bloody spots or mild bleeding between subsequent periods or following
2. Menstrual bleeding is longer and heavier than normal
3. Bleeding after intercourse, washing, or pelvic examination
4. Increased vaginal secretions
5. Pain during intercourse
6. Bleeding after menopause
7. Unexplained pelvic pain and/or back pain
frequent bleeding of the vagina, bleeding after intercourse, And when repeated and if such cases occur several times. the patient should have a cervical examination.
Your doctor should be informed of any of these symptoms. If these symptoms appear, it is important that you talk to your doctor about them even if they are less serious symptoms. The earlier cancer cells or cancer are found and treated, the better the chance of cancer prevention or treatment.
If you are concerned with any changes you are experiencing, please talk to your doctor. Your doctor will ask you about the length of time, the number of times you have symptoms, and other questions. This is to find out the cause of the problem, called diagnosis.
If cancer is diagnosed, symptom alleviation remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This can also be called symptom management, pain relief or supportive care. Make sure you talk to your health care team about the symptoms you are experiencing, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.
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