Photomicrograph of a human cervix. This HSE-stained specimen is from a postmenopausal woman. Its lower portion projects into the upper vagina where an opening, the external os, leads to the uterus through the cervical canal. The surface of the cervix is covered by stratified squamous epithelium (SSE) that is continuous with the epithelial lining of the vagina. An abrupt transition from stratified squamous epithelium to simple columnar epithelium (SCE) occurs at the entry to the cervical canal. In this specimen, the stratified epithelium has extended into the canal, an event that occurs with aging. Mucus-secreting cervical glands are seen along the cervical canal. These are simple branched tubular glands that arise as invaginations of the epithelium lining the canal. Frequently, the glands develop into Nabothian cysts as a result of retention of mucous secretion by blockage of the gland opening. The material marked by the X is mucus secreted from the cervical glands, xio.
squamous epithelium (Fig. 22.22). An abrupt transition between this squamous epithelium and the mucus-secreting columnar epithelium of the cervical canal, the endocervix, occurs in the transformation zone that during the reproductive age of the woman is located just outside the external os. Before puberty and after menopause the transfor
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