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Post-menopausal cells. Light micrograph of a cervical smear, showing parabasal cells from the epithelial lining of the vagina of a post- menopausal woman. The cells are small and appear to have little or no cytoplasm, indicating little or no ovarian hormone activity. Atrophic changes occur to the epithelial lining of the vagina following the menopause (the cessation of menstruation) and are caused by a deficiency of female sex hormones. Normal parabasal cells in a younger woman would have large cytoplasms with small, centrally placed nuclei. Papanicolaou stain. Magnification: x200 at 35mm size.
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