The cervix is an important part of the female reproductive system. It is a narrow and tube-like structure that connects the uterus to the vagina. The cervix is composed mainly of fibromuscular tissue and is divided into two parts: the ectocervix and the endocervix.
The ectocervix is the part of the cervix that is visible from inside the vagina during a gynecologic examination. It is the outer portion of the cervix that protrudes into the vagina. The ectocervix is covered with squamous cells, which are flat and scale-like. The opening in the center of the ectocervix is called the external os. It opens and closes during the menstrual cycle to allow for the passage of menstrual blood, sperm, and a baby during childbirth.
The endocervix, or endocervical canal, is the inner portion of the cervix. It is a tunnel-like structure that extends from the external os into the uterus. The endocervix is lined with columnar cells, which are glandular cells that secrete mucus. The mucus helps to keep the cervix moist and also helps to prevent infection.
The cervix plays an important role in the female reproductive system. It acts as a barrier between the vagina and the uterus, preventing infections from entering the uterus. It also produces mucus that helps to nourish and protect the sperm as it travels through the female reproductive tract towards the egg. During childbirth, the cervix dilates to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal and into the world.