STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cervical lining. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a fold in a cervical mucous membrane. The cervix is the canal that links the uterus (womb) to the vagina. The mucous membrane consists of mucus-secreting cells. Folds, known as plicae palmatae, in the mucous membrane increase the surface area for the secretion of mucus. 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: x180 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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