The cervix

The cervix is the lower part of the womb (uterus). It is often called the neck of the womb.

Your doctor or nurse can see and feel the cervix during an internal (vaginal) examination.

Female bladder and ovaries
Female bladder and ovaries

View a large version

Read a description of this image


The surface of the cervix is covered with flat cells called squamous cells. The cervical canal (endocervix) is lined with longer cells called columnar cells or glandular cells, which produce mucus. The area where these cells meet is known as the transformation zone. Cells in this transformation zone can become abnormal. These are the cells examined in a cervical screening test.

Cervix transformation zone
Cervix transformation zone

Read a description of this image

Back to Cervical screening and CIN

Abnormal test results

If you have an abnormal result, this does not mean you have cancer. You may need some more tests.

Diagnosing and grading CIN

A colposcopy is used to confirm whether you have cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) and how severe it might be.

Treating CIN

If you have been diagnosed with CIN, you may have treatment to remove the abnormal cells. There are different types of treatment.

After treatment for CIN

Most women feel fine after treatment for CIN but some may feel unwell for a few hours. You will be referred for regular screening tests.