Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What are the symptoms of cervical cancer?"


How would I know if I have cervical cancer? I have had a little bit of tenderness on my cervix that I?m 90 percent certain is just the result of sex, but I still get nervous about these things. What would the first symptoms be if I have it, and what is the standard treatment for cervical problems?


Interestingly, most cases of cervical cancer do not have any symptoms at all. This is why cervical cancer screening programs (such as the annual 'pap smear') are so important, because they detect the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells long before they grow enough to cause symptoms. If you are sexually active, your best way to detect cervical cancer is to have regular pap smears.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Obgyns near you

Your best way to prevent cervical cancer is to get the human papilloma virus vaccine (Gardasil), if you are a young woman in the eligible age range for the vaccine, to limit your number of partners, and to always use a barrier protection method. Cervical cancer can cause pain and bleeding if advanced enough. Causes of cervical tenderness other than this would include bruising or irritation from sex as you already mentioned. Another cause would be an infection causing inflammation of the cervix or uterus. The most common causes of this would be gonorrhea or chlamydia, both sexually transmitted diseases. If you have any concerns that you might have a sexually transmitted disease, then you should call your primary care doctor or your OB GYN doctor to obtain testing for these as soon as possible.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.