Information for Patients
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, the place where a baby grows during pregnancy. The cervix has a small opening that expands during childbirth. It also allows menstrual blood to leave a woman's body.
Your health care provider may perform a Pap test during your health checkup to look for changes to the cells of the cervix, including cervical cancer. Other problems with the cervix include:
- Cervicitis - inflammation of the cervix. This is usually from an infection.
- Cervical incompetence - This can happen during pregnancy. The opening of the cervix widens long before the baby is due.
- Cervical polyps and cysts - abnormal growths on the cervix
Vaginal problems are some of the most common reasons women go to the doctor. They may have symptoms such as
- Abnormal bleeding
One common problem is vaginitis, an inflammation of the vagina. Other problems that affect the vagina include sexually transmitted diseases, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer. Treatment of vaginal problems depends on the cause.
The vulva is the external part of a woman's genitals. Some problems you can have with the vulvar area include
- Vaginitis or vulvovaginitis, swelling or infection of the vulva and vagina
- Skin problems due to allergy
- Vulvar cancer
- Vulvodynia, or vulvar pain
Symptoms may include redness, itching, pain, or cracks in the skin. Treatment depends on the cause.