Cervical cells. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of cervical secretory cells (brown). The cervix is the canal that links the uterus (womb) to the vagina. The mucous membrane lining of the cervix is covered with mucus- secreting cells. These secretory cells are themselves covered in finger-like projections known as microvilli (yellow). A particle of mucus (light brown) is seen at far centre right. Mucus is secreted in response to the female sex hormone oestrogen. Maximal secretion is during ovulation, when the mucus is most hydrated, to ease the movement of sperm. Magnification: x2200 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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