Age 30 – Partial Cycle

This woman is 30 years old and is trying to conceive her first child; these photographs were taken during her third cycle of trying.  She has never been pregnant, yet her os is a slightly ‘u’ (or ‘w’) shaped slit, which is a variation of normal. She usually has a 37 day cycle, with ovulation occurring on day 25, according to her basal body temperature charting.  She has been tested for PCOS, but results are negative.

The squamocolumnar junction (SCJ) of her cervix is visible in her photos as the wavy line where the redder area around the os meets the pinker tissue of the cervix. The squamocolumnar junction is is where two tissues made of differently shaped cells meet. The layer of tissue made of column-shaped cells that make cervical mucous and are usually on the inside of os (in the endocervical canal) has grown out onto the face of the cervix, which is made of squamous, or flat-shaped cells. For some women the SCJ is not visible upon speculum exam because where these two tissue types meet may be just inside the endocervical canal (inside the os), but having a visible SCJ is a variation of normal. The SCJ can be seen at variable distances from the os in different reproductive-aged women. The endocervical canal elongates under the influence of estrogen, which is a hormone that is relatively high during reproductive years, making a visible SCJ a common occurrence in women of reproductive age.