The cervix is the lower end of the womb (uterus). It is at the top of the vagina. It is about 2.5 to 3.5 cm long. The cervical canal passes through the cervix. It allows blood from a menstrual period and a baby (fetus) to pass from the womb into the vagina.
The cervical canal also allows sperm to pass from the vagina into the uterus.
Conditions that affect the cervix include:
- Cervical cancer
- Cervical infection
- Cervical inflammation
- Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) or dysplasia
- Cervical polyps
- Cervical pregnancy
A Pap smear is a screening test to check for cancer of the cervix.
Baggish MS. Anatomy of the cervix. In: Baggish MS, Karram MM, eds. Atlas of Pelvic Anatomy and Gynecologic Surgery. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 44.
Gilks B. Uterus: cervix. In: Goldblum JR, Lamps LW, McKenney JK, Myers JL, eds. Rosai and Ackerman's Surgical Pathology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 32.
Rodriguez LV, Nakamura LY. Surgical, radiographic, and endoscopic anatomy of the female pelvis. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 67.
Review Date 2/7/2019
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.