Menstrual Cycle - Histology
This page presents images from vaginal smears and uterine endometrium dilatation and curettage samples during different phases of the human menstrual cycle.
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|Historic Histology Textbooks: 1941 Histology] | 1944 Oral Histology|
History of the Pap Smear
The text below is from the ABC - Great Moments In Science
- "Luckily, we have the famous Pap Smear - an excellent way to find cancer of the cervix before it digs in locally and/or spreads throughout the body. The Pap Smear is named after a certain Dr. Papanicolaou - who did a Pap Smear on his wife virtually every day for 20 years.
George Nikolas Papanicolaou was born in 1883 in Kymi, a small town overlooking the Aegean Sea on the Island of Euboea in Greece. His father, Nikolas Papanicolaou was both the Major of Kymi and a medical doctor. His older brother, Naso, had studied law, so his father convinced George to continue in the family medical tradition. So George studied medicine, and did well, graduating with a degree in honours in 1904............"
|Phase||Days (range)||Smear||Smear Description||Uterine Endometrium (D&C)|
|Menstrual||1 - 4||Click on image to see full size.||Both stratum corneum (red) and stratum spinosum (blue) epithelial cells will mostly blood.
Leukocytes and bacteria may also be present.
|Early Proliferative||5 - 9||Mainly large and small basophilic (blue) stratum spinosum cells.|
|Mid Proliferative||9 - 13||Stratum spinosum (blue) increase in size.
Dark precipate outside cells are bacteria.
|Late Proliferative, Ovulatory||13-14||mainly stratum corneum (red) which are large and flat.
Appear due to high estrogen levels.
|Secretory||15 - 22||stratum spinosum cells (blue) which are folded or with curled edges.
Appear immediately after ovulation due to increase in progesterone.
Leukocytes (small black cells) becoming more numerous.
|Late Secretory, (Ischemic) Premenstrual||23 - 28||stratum spinosum cells (blue) mainly with a few stratum corneum cells (red).
Clustering of cells occurs at this stage.
Both leukocytes and bacteria are prevelant.
See also Uterus Development
- The normal vaginal flora (lactobacillus morphotypes) is replaced by a mixed microbial flora consisting of Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis and anaerobes.
- Originally described by Gardner and Dukes (1955).
- clinical features - malodorous, thin homogeneous vaginal discharge with elevated vaginal pH above 4.5.
- Smear Image Links: L. crispatus | L. crispatus | non-L. crispatus with thin lactobacilli | non-L. crispatus with thin lactobacilli | mixture non-L. crispatus with L. crispatus | mixture non-L. crispatus with L. crispatus | irregular-shaped Gram positive rod | irregular-shaped Gram positive rod | mixture Lactobacillus and bacterial vaginosis-associated | mixture Lactobacillus and bacterial vaginosis-associated | bacterial vaginosis | bacterial vaginosis
- Links: Menstrual Cycle - Histology | Histology - Gram Stain | Bacterial Vaginosis | CDC (USA) Fact Sheet - Bacterial Vaginosis
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2021, October 27) Embryology Menstrual Cycle - Histology. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Menstrual_Cycle_-_Histology
- © Dr Mark Hill 2021, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G