Risk factors for this infection include a history of a new sex partner, multiple sex partners (or a partner who has multiple partners), sexual abuse, previous or coexisting STIs (either the patient or a partner), and exchanging sex for money or drugs.
Many patients with lower genital tract infections with this organism are asymptomatic. Those who have symptoms usually seek medical care within 10 days of infection. They may complain of vaginal discharge, dysuria, bleeding after intercourse, pain with intercourse, and abnormal uterine bleeding. Patients who strictly have cervicitis do not typically complain of abdominal or pelvic pain (these symptoms are usually indicative of an upper genital tract infection).
Neisseria gonorrhoeae readily acquires antibiotic resistance, and the emergence of strains resistant to third-generation cephalosporins is a major public health problem.
Related topic: primary gonorrhea infection
A54.03 – Gonococcal cervicitis, unspecified
237083000 – Gonococcal cervicitis
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
- Other infectious causes of cervicitis including C trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, and herpes simplex virus – Testing for the individual agents can be performed.
- Cervical irritation due to a foreign body (eg, tampon) – Will be suspected based on clinical history.
- Cervical irritation due to exposure to a latex condom in patients with a latex allergy – Will be suspected based on clinical history.
- Behçet syndrome – Rarely associated with cervical lesions.