Cervical canal

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cervical Canal

The cervical canal is a cylindrical-shaped passage that forms the connection between the uterus and the vagina. It is a part of the female reproductive system and plays a crucial role in various physiological processes such as menstruation, childbirth, and sexual intercourse.

Anatomy[edit | edit source]

The cervical canal is located within the cervix, the lower, narrow part of the uterus. It extends from the internal os, which is the opening of the cervix into the uterus, to the external os, the opening of the cervix into the vagina. The canal is lined with a layer of mucus-producing cells known as the cervical epithelium.

Function[edit | edit source]

The primary function of the cervical canal is to allow the passage of menstrual fluid from the uterus into the vagina. It also serves as a conduit for sperm to travel from the vagina into the uterus during sexual intercourse. During childbirth, the canal dilates to allow the passage of the baby from the uterus into the vagina.

The mucus produced by the cervical epithelium plays a vital role in both protecting the upper reproductive tract from potential infections and in fertility. The characteristics of this mucus change throughout the menstrual cycle, influencing the ability of sperm to travel through the cervical canal.

Clinical Significance[edit | edit source]

Various medical conditions can affect the cervical canal, including cervical stenosis, cervical polyps, and cervical cancer. These conditions can lead to symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and infertility.

Cervical stenosis is a condition in which the cervical canal becomes narrow or completely closed. This can occur as a result of aging, surgical procedures on the cervix, or radiation therapy for cervical cancer.

Cervical polyps are small, benign growths that can develop in the cervical canal. They are usually asymptomatic but can sometimes cause symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the cervix. It is often caused by persistent infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). Regular screening with Pap tests and HPV tests can help detect cervical cancer at an early stage.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD