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Light micrograph of normal cells in a cervical smear taken post partum - after childbirth. The cells visible are from the intermediate and parabasal zones - the inner two of the four groups of layers that form the stratified squamous epithelium that lines the vaginal cervix. The parabasal zone consisits of several layers of large polygonal cells (orange stain). Cells of the inner intermediate zone are small & ovoid in shape. The relative thickness & proportions of these different zones varies throughout the menstrual cycle. Cervical smears are examined to alert a doctor to the cellular changes associated with the development of cervical cancer.
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