Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Early cervical cancer is often asymptomatic (does not produce symptoms). In women who receive regular screening, the first sign of the disease is usually an abnormal Pap test result. Symptoms that may occur include the following:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (e.g., spotting after sexual intercourse, bleeding between menstrual periods, increased menstrual bleeding)
  • Abnormal (yellow, odorous) vaginal discharge
  • Low back pain
  • Painful sexual intercourse (dyspareunia)
  • Painful urination (dysuria)

Cervical cancer that has spread (metastasized) to other organs may cause constipation, blood in the urine (hematuria), abnormal opening in the cervix (fistula), and ureteral obstruction (blockage in the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder).

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 14 Aug 1999

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2015