Ageing of the Cervix

Emeritus Professor Erik Odeblad, Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Umeň, S-90187, Umeň, Sweden, has described his observations on the ageing of the cervix.

 

Ageing and Rejuvenation

The cervix undergoes a natural process of development and ageing. The area of the cervix given over to the mucus secreting crypts gradually diminishes from maturity. The number of S crypts decreases from teenage. They are first replaced by L crypts starting at the base of the cervix. Later G crypts replace the L crypts.

This process is influenced by two other significant events:

"The L replaces S and G replaces L transformations are partially reversed by changes during pregnancy, but they are partially accelerated by the Pill. These circumstances may be simply stated by the expression: a pregancy rejuvenates the cervix by 2-3 years, but for each year the Pill is taken, the cervix ages by an extra year." ( "The Discovery of Different Types of Cervical Mucus and the Billings Method", Professor Erik Odeblad, Bulletin of the Natural Family Council of Victoria, ISSN 0321-7567, Vol 21 No 3 September 1994, pp3-35)

For a woman who goes through life without pregnancy or use of the pill the following graph gives a representative profile of cervical crpyts.

Portion of
Cervix occupied by active crypts

Age in years

For a woman who goes through life with four pregnancies and no use of the pill the following graph gives a representative profile of cervical crpyts.
Portion of
Cervix occupied by active crypts
Age in years
For a woman who goes through life without pregnancy and uses the pill for ten years the following graph gives a representative profile of cervical crpyts.
Portion of
Cervix occupied by active crypts
Age in years
Effects of Contraceptive Pills on the Cervix

"The study of the effects of contraceptive pills on the cervix is a difficult task. A considerable amount of work is required for each patient and the time required spans many years, up to 10 years or more. Many women also want to change to other pills or to other methods of contraception, or perhaps now want to become pregnant. It also happens that some pills are withdrawn from the market. To these difficulties are added the normal age changes in the cervix and the dynamic processes which are of constant occurrence. After 3 and up to 15 months of contraceptive pill use, there is a greater loss of the S crypt cells than can be replaced." (" Some Notes on the Cervical Crypts", Dr E. Odeblad, Bulletin of the Ovulation Method Research and Reference Centre of Australia, Vol 24 No 2 June 1997, p31)

Regression when taking the Pill is different for estrogen-dependent crypts (L and S) and progesteron-dependent crypts (G) which may in part overdevelop.

 

Billings Method

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