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    Bruised Cervix: Common Symptoms and Treatment Options

    Updated 15 January 2021 |
    Published 26 February 2020
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Olga Adereyko, MD, Primary Care Physician, General Practitioner, Medical Consultant
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    While not an entirely common injury, bruising of the cervix does happen. This painful injury can occur repeatedly, so it can be helpful to understand how to recognize the signs and prevent future injuries. Keep reading to learn what a bruised cervix is, the symptoms, treatment options, and how to prevent future cases.

    How can you get your cervix bruised?

    A bruised cervix typically occurs due to vigorous sexual activity. This can include penetration from a penis, fist, or an object. Hitting the cervix during intercourse can cause bruising, making it feel tender and sensitive. 

    A bruised cervix typically occurs with deep penetration. For example, the risk of a bruised cervix usually increases if you’re in the doggy style position. Because the cervix is at the top of the vaginal canal, it’s unlikely for the cervix to be bruised from anything other than sexual activity. 

    If you’re experiencing pain during intercourse, it’s likely an indication of another issue. Sex should be pleasurable. 

    At times, your cervix can become bruised during sexual assault or trauma. A particularly violent attack can result in bruising. If you or someone you know has experienced a sexual assault, make sure you consult with a doctor on the next steps. 

    Your cervix is like a protective barrier for your uterus, monitoring what enters or exits the vagina. Essentially, the cervix separates the uterus from the vagina. 

    What does a bruised cervix feel like?

    A bruised cervix may feel different depending on the degree of vaginal bruising that has occurred. It also depends on each person’s pain tolerance. For some women, symptoms of a bruised cervix may include painful cramps that lead to sweating, nausea, and vomiting.

    Others feel only mild discomfort, like a dull, aching pain deep inside their body. If you have sexual intercourse, it will likely begin to hurt more. 

    Other bruised cervix symptoms

    The most common and obvious sign of a bruised cervix is pain. However, this injury can sometimes come with other symptoms. For example, some women report symptoms of bleeding, spotting, nausea, and back pain with a bruised cervix. These symptoms are more common the more aggressive the sexual intercourse was. 

    Any long-lasting or extreme symptoms, such as excessive blood, can be an indication that something else is wrong.

    Do you need to treat a bruised cervix?

    Generally speaking, you don’t need to treat a bruised cervix unless your doctor advises otherwise. Just like a bruise elsewhere on your body, the injury and pain will disappear with time. Luckily, cervical bruising isn’t a permanent injury. However, you may want to take some over-the-counter pain medication if you’re experiencing discomfort.

    If you have concerns about a bruised cervix, visit your doctor for a pelvic examination and ask them for advice. Your cervix may be sensitive — and more susceptible to bruising — because of an underlying infection.

    If it hurts to sit, try sitting on a cushion. Lastly, you can try to wear loose clothing to help alleviate some of the pressure on your abdomen. 

    Just like a bruise elsewhere on your body, the injury and pain will disappear with time. Luckily, cervical bruising isn’t a permanent injury.

    Healing time varies from person to person, but typically a bruised cervix takes a couple days to heal. It’s best to avoid having sex again until you’ve fully recovered.

    It may also be a good idea to consider if you’re at risk of getting this injury again. If you believe the injury could happen again, you may want to take some precautionary steps. 

    Think about sexual positions where you are in control of the rhythm and depth of penetration, such as cowgirl or reverse cowgirl. 

    If the injury occurred from a sex toy or an object, consider using a smaller one. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to use plenty of lube to help ease friction. 

    Lastly, foreplay is critical. When you’re not properly aroused, your vaginal opening and cervix are closer together, making it easier to bruise. Some couples like foreplay to last between 20 and 30 minutes, but it varies from person to person.

    Communication with your partner is the key to a healthy sex life. Have an open discussion with your partner about what happened and how you can both avoid it in the future. Try to stay positive, and don’t be embarrassed. Instead, share the experience with your partner and come to a solution together. You don’t ever have to hurt yourself or put your comfort at risk for the sexual satisfaction of others. 

    Who’s at risk of developing a bruised cervix?

    Some people are more at risk for a bruised cervix than others. Every person has a different vaginal structure and uterus position. Typically, the distance from the vaginal opening to the cervix is between 3 and 7 inches. When aroused, the vagina stretches to allow easier penetration. However, a larger penis or object may be more likely to cause a cervical injury. Additionally, women with a shallower vagina may find themselves more prone to this injury. 

    During ovulation, the cervix opens and softens to increase the chances of pregnancy. With these changes, some women will be more prone to cervical bruising.  

    Women with a condition called cervical ectropion can be more prone to cervical bruising. Glandular cells are typically found on the inside of the cervix. Cervical ectropion is a condition where the glandular cells are found on the outside of the cervix instead.

    When to see a doctor

    There are a few times when cervical bruising should be taken very seriously and warrants a trip to the doctor’s office. 

    • If you experienced bruising of the cervix after having an IUD insertion, visit your doctor to ensure the IUD hasn’t moved during sex. 
    • If pain lasts longer than a week, it could be a sign of another issue. 
    • If you bleed enough to fill a pad or tampon every hour, you should visit a doctor immediately. 
    • If you notice extremely large (quarter-sized) blood clots in your underwear
    • If the bruised cervix is a result of a sexual assault or trauma
    • If the pain feels unbearable
    • If you’re pregnant

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    A bruised cervix typically occurs during sexual intercourse. Hitting the cervix during sex can happen for a variety of reasons. By understanding your body and its limits and communicating with your partner, you should be able to avoid the pain of a bruised cervix. To be on the safe side, you may want to visit a doctor and talk to them about your symptoms.

    History of updates

    Current version (15 January 2021)

    Reviewed by Olga Adereyko, MD, Primary Care Physician, General Practitioner, Medical Consultant

    Published (26 February 2020)

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