The Cervix: Reproductive & Sexual Health Education Series

The cervix is an incredibly important part of sexual and reproductive health. Most women have a cervix, as do many trans and non-binary people. In this post, we will be sharing about the location and role of the cervix.

1. Where is the Cervix located?

“A lot of people don’t actually understand where the cervix is. The cervix lies at the opening of the uterus (where babies grow) which is at the top of the vagina — it connects the uterus to the vagina.” — Dr. Jen Caudle

The cervix is approximately two inches long, and its shape resembles a donut.

Image from MyPathology

2. What are the different parts of the cervix?

Image from Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

The cervix has two regions:

  1. Ectocervix connects to the vagina. The opening in the ectocervix, the external os, marks the transition from the ectocervix to the endocervical canal.

2. The endocervical canal (or endocervix) is the inner region of the cervix.

3. What does the Cervix do?

Main functions:

  • Produces cervical mucus to block pathogens. During pregnancy, a cervical mucus plug develops and serves the purpose of protecting the womb and baby from any bacteria or viruses.
  • Facilitates the passage of sperm into the uterine cavity. At the point of greatest fertility, the cervix produces a large amount of clear mucus to help promote fertilization.
  • Dilates (open up) during labor to allow the baby to move from the womb to the vagina ready for birth.
  • Assists menstrual flow in leaving the body.
Image from WhatToExpect

4. What does your cervix look like?

The cervix is constantly changing and going through different phases. At each phase of the menstrual cycle and reproductive cycle, it looks a little different.

Images from The Beautiful Cervix Project

For more information: Check out this helpful youtube video detailing the function and lifecycle of this critical organ:

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