The uterus is the main female reproductive organs. It is located in the pelvic cavity and consists of a bottom (the upper part), a body, cervix and uterus. The neck is a continuation of the uterus, part of it goes into the vagina, inside the cervix is the channel that opens during childbirth, forming along with the uterus and the vagina common birth canal.
The structure of the cervix
The cervix has two divisions: the vaginal part descends into the vaginal cavity (about a third of the cervix) and supravaginal part lying above the vagina. Inside the cervix pass the cervical canal or cervical (cervix in Latin is called cervix uteri) channel. Place the transition of the uterus in the cervical canal is narrowed and is called the isthmus. The isthmus is the upper section of the cervix, but the microscopic structure of its mucosa resembles the structure of the mucous membrane of the uterine body.
In the vaginal part of the cervix is visible outer mouth-opening leading from the vagina into the cervical canal and continuing into the uterine cavity. The uterus cervical canal opens inner throat.
The cervix in girls and women has a conical shape, in adult women, especially parous-cylindrical shape. The lower end of the neck has a hole that opens into the vagina. Nulliparous women, this opening has an oval cross-shape parous form transverse slit usually healed with nicked edges. Hole Unlimited shorter front and rear lip, a thin and long.
The structure of the cervical canal
Cervical canal expanded in the middle, top, it goes into several stroke-narrowed isthmus of the uterus, through which neck communicates with the cavity of the uterus.
The mucous membrane of the cervix more massive than in the uterus. The front and rear walls of the neck it has palmovidnye folds, which are called "the tree of life."
Cervical canal is lined by columnar epithelium, producing mucus. The mucous membrane of the cervix is coarser than in the uterine cavity contains more elastic fibers, which give it flexibility and elasticity. The mucosa is located a gland that secrete secret (as well as the epithelial cells) as a thick viscous glassy mucus having an alkaline reaction. This secret fills the cervical canal and forms a so-called plug Kristeller which both mechanically and due to their bactericidal (bacteria-killing) properties prevents penetration of infection into the cervix.
Cyclical changes associated with the menstrual cycle, the mucous membrane of the cervix does not undergo, but during ovulation
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secretion of mucus glands of the cervix increases. In some cases of cervical cancer may be clogged, which promotes the formation of cysts.
Under the mucous membrane of the cervix is the muscle sheath, which is integral with all the muscles of the uterus. A feature of the muscle membrane of the cervical canal is that it is less developed than in the uterus and contains more elastic fibers that allow the cervix to contract and open the birth canal.
What can see a gynecologist during the inspection of the cervix
During the inspection of the cervix to identify women with suspected inflammatory processes, benign tumors, cancer and precancerous lesions, which subsequently require a more detailed examination.
Inspection is carried out using a speculum, which provide access for inspection of the cervix. Normally, the cervix has a flat smooth pink surface in the cervical canal - a transparent mucous secretion. After menopause, the cervix shrinks, the mucous membrane becomes thinner, it is also a variant of the norm.
If there is inflammation in the canal of the cervix (cervicitis), - mucosa swelling, discharge
Discharges in women when there is cause for concern
from the cervical canal - mucopurulent. If the inflammatory process becomes chronic, it often leads to clogging gland, secreting mucus and cyst formation, which in turn will lead to an increase in the cervix. Cervical erosion - is a violation of the epithelial layer under the influence of discharge. Erosion has the form of bright red spots with jagged edges. Erosion is a precancerous condition.
On examination can also be cervical polyps - benign arising on a background of long flowing inflammatory and hormonal disorders, benign tumors and some other processes that require further examination.
Additional methods of research of the cervical canal
Once during a gynecological examination
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women were identified with the changes from the cervix, they performed laboratory and endoscopic examinations.
Laboratory tests include the identification of infectious agents, cause an inflammatory process and its sensitivity to antibiotics
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As well as the Pap smear (Pap smear). With Pap smear abnormalities can be seen in the structure of the epithelial cells of the cervix that can detect precancerous lesions and cancer in the early stages of development.
By endoscopic methods of investigation include colposcopy, a study of the mucous membrane of the cervix using a special optical device, a colposcope.
Every woman should undergo an annual preventive gynecological examination to detect cancer at an early stage of development.