Sexually transmitted infections: Vaginitis and cervicitis: Pathology review

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Sexually transmitted infections: Vaginitis and cervicitis: Pathology review

Reproductive system

Male and female reproductive system disorders

Precocious puberty

Delayed puberty

Klinefelter syndrome

Turner syndrome

Androgen insensitivity syndrome

5-alpha-reductase deficiency

Kallmann syndrome

Male reproductive system disorders

Hypospadias and epispadias

Bladder exstrophy


Penile cancer


Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Prostate cancer


Inguinal hernia




Testicular torsion

Testicular cancer

Erectile dysfunction

Male hypoactive sexual desire disorder

Female reproductive system disorders


Ovarian cyst

Premature ovarian failure

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Ovarian torsion

Krukenberg tumor

Sex cord-gonadal stromal tumor

Surface epithelial-stromal tumor

Germ cell ovarian tumor

Uterine fibroid



Endometrial hyperplasia

Endometrial cancer


Cervical cancer

Pelvic inflammatory disease


Female sexual interest and arousal disorder

Orgasmic dysfunction

Genito-pelvic pain and penetration disorder


Fibrocystic breast changes

Intraductal papilloma

Phyllodes tumor

Paget disease of the breast

Breast cancer

Hyperemesis gravidarum

Gestational hypertension

Preeclampsia & eclampsia

Gestational diabetes

Cervical incompetence

Placenta previa

Placenta accreta

Placental abruption



Potter sequence

Intrauterine growth restriction

Preterm labor

Postpartum hemorrhage


Congenital toxoplasmosis

Congenital cytomegalovirus (NORD)

Congenital syphilis

Neonatal conjunctivitis

Neonatal herpes simplex

Congenital rubella syndrome

Neonatal sepsis

Neonatal meningitis


Gestational trophoblastic disease

Ectopic pregnancy

Fetal hydantoin syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome

Reproductive system pathology review

Disorders of sex chromosomes: Pathology review

Prostate disorders and cancer: Pathology review

Testicular tumors: Pathology review

Uterine disorders: Pathology review

Ovarian cysts and tumors: Pathology review

Cervical cancer: Pathology review

Vaginal and vulvar disorders: Pathology review

Benign breast conditions: Pathology review

Breast cancer: Pathology review

Complications during pregnancy: Pathology review

Congenital TORCH infections: Pathology review

Disorders of sexual development and sex hormones: Pathology review

Amenorrhea: Pathology Review

Testicular and scrotal conditions: Pathology review

Sexually transmitted infections: Warts and ulcers: Pathology review

Sexually transmitted infections: Vaginitis and cervicitis: Pathology review

HIV and AIDS: Pathology review

Penile conditions: Pathology review


Sexually transmitted infections: Vaginitis and cervicitis: Pathology review

USMLE® Step 1 questions

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

of complete

A sample is taken of an ulcerating papule in the inguinal region of a 26-year-old man who has had unprotected sex with multiple female partners in the past few months. Intracytoplasmic inclusions are seen in Giemsa staining of the sample taken from one of the swollen lymph nodes. Infection with which of the following is the most likely cause?  


Content Reviewers

Antonella Melani, MD


Jahnavi Narayanan, MBBS

Rachel Yancey

Alaina Mueller

Aileen Lin, MScBMC

A 26 year old female named Anna comes to the clinic one day with complaints of painful and more frequent urination, as well as pain during sexual intercourse, and increased vaginal discharge for the past 5 days. Upon further questioning, Anna tells you that she’s had multiple sexual partners lately. On physical examination, there's purulent vaginal discharge. You obtain a discharge sample with a swab and perform a Gram stain, which reveals the presence of gram-negative diplococci bacteria within neutrophils. You prescribe her a combination of azithromycin and ceftriaxone.

A year later, Anna comes back with similar complaints, but this time she also has a fever; and lower abdominal pain that worsens when she moves. Upon further questioning, Anna reveals that she’s had two more episodes of vaginal infections over the past year, but she didn’t seek medical attention. On physical examination, you notice that Anna has a fever, and when you perform a gynecological exam, movement of the cervix elicits pain.

Now, based on the initial presentation, Anna seems to have vaginitis or cervicitis caused by a sexually transmitted infection, or STI for short. STIs are mainly transmitted from person to person during sexual contact through body fluids, such as vaginal secretions, semen, or blood. The ones most at risk of contracting an STI are sexually active individuals, particularly those who have unprotected sex or multiple sexual partners. But, it’s important to note that sexually transmitted infections can also be transmitted via contact with skin or mucous membranes, including eyes, mouth, throat, and anus. And that’s a high yield fact!

Now, STIs that may cause vaginitis and cervicitis include chlamydia, which is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis; gonorrhea, which is caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae; and trichomoniasis, caused by Trichomonas vaginalis.


Vaginitis and cervicitis are two conditions that can affect the female reproductive tract. Vaginitis refers to inflammation of the vagina, while cervicitis refers to inflammation of the cervix, the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Symptoms of vaginitis may include itching, burning, discharge, and pain or discomfort during intercourse or urination.

Common causes of vaginitis and cervicitis include infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea infections can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease, which presents with lower abdominal pain that worsens with movement, and tubo-ovarian abscesses, which all might complicate into an ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome.


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