The cervix (cervix) in the female body refers to the opening of the cervix (uterine cervix) in the uterus and the vagina. In the course of pregnancy and during the birth of a child, the cervix and its opening are of particular importance.

What is the cervix?

The so-called internal cervix is ​​the upper opening of the cervix into the cavity of the uterus, while the outer cervix is ​​the lower opening of the cervix in the direction of the vagina.

This is surrounded by a thick layer of mucous membrane, which protrudes into the roof of the vagina and thus prevents the penetration of germs into the uterus. Before a woman has given birth to a child, the outer cervix is ​​dimple-shaped, after the first childbirth it is split like a mouth.

During the cycle of a woman, the outer cervix protrudes up to three centimeters into the vagina on infertile days and can be felt from the outside.

Anatomy & Construction

The cervix has as part of the cervix a wall built up of three layers. The outer wall is a layer of mucous membrane with glands that changes in structure as the cycle progresses.

Under the mucous membrane lies a muscle layer in which the muscles are arranged in spirals. The lowest of the three layers is formed by a membrane bounding the abdominal cavity. The area in the cervix between the inner and outer cervix is ​​also known as the cervical canal.

Function & Tasks

The external cervix plays a role in sexual intercourse, because when the woman orgasms, he submits in wavy movements in the ejected seeds to support the transmission of sperm. In pregnancy, the cervical canal is tightly closed with the internal and external cervix.

In this way the penetration of germs into the fruit cavity is prevented. In a pregnant woman, the length of the cervix should be over 2.5 cm, because with a greater shortening it can lead to a premature birth through the premature, veal-free opening of the cervix. When the birth begins with the so-called opening phase, contractions ensure that the cervix is ​​first stretched.

After a shortening of the cervical canal, the inner cervix expands first. Finally, the outer cervix begins to open later in the process. The last phase of the birth, the so-called expulsion phase, begins with a complete opening of the outer cervix.

Diseases, complaints & disorders

In connection with the cervix different complaints and diseases can occur, even outside of pregnancy and childbirth. At the outer cervix, where the smooth skin of the vagina borders on the mucous membrane of the cervical canal, there is a tissue zone in which pathogens can induce changes in the skin structure (so-called "dysplasias").

These lesions may be mild (stage I), moderate (stage II) or severe (stage III). Severe Dsyplasias can transform into precursors of cancer (stage IV) and cancer (stage V). Cervical diseases are usually diagnosed during gynecological screening, where smears are taken. These can detect the skin changes very early, so that even before the development of cancer precursors treatment can be started. It is usually at a distance of the affected tissue.

The germs that cause dysplasia are usually human papilloma viruses (HPV), of which there are over 30 different types. They will be transmitted mainly through sexual intercourse, and there is no effective drug treatment.

However, young girls can get vaccinated against certain types of HPV before the first sexual intercourse. HPV viruses are also responsible for the formation of genital warts (so-called condylomas or genital warts), which in turn can also trigger lesions on the cervix. Normally, these warts can be successfully treated with solutions or creams to prevent dysplasia on the tissues of the cervix.

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