The ectocervix corresponds to the vaginal portion of the uterine cervix. The ectocervix is centered around the external orifice which is round (pin hole shape) in nulliparous women and slit-like in multiparous women.
Ectocervix is covered with a non-keratinized stratified squamous epithelium.
Exocervical epithelium consists of 4 layers:
- basal cells, lying on the basement membrane,
- parabasal cells between basal cell layer and mature cell layers,
- intermediate cells, polygonal and mature cells,
- superficial cells, with a morphology similar to intermediate cells but with a pyknotic nucleus.
A layer of exfoliating cells is present in histological sections.
Histopathology atlas Cytopathology atlas