The cervix is the lower end of the womb (uterus). It is at the top of the vagina. It is about 2 inches (5 centimeters) 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.
Review Date 1/16/2015
Updated by: Cynthia D. White, MD, Fellow American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Group Health Cooperative, Bellevue, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.