Biochemical Aspects of Cervical Maturation
The functional demands made of the connective tissue component of the myometrium are that it adapt to the conceptus by progressive growth during pregnancy and respond by involution of the uterus after delivery. The corresponding demands made of the uterine cervix are that it serve as a fibrous barrier to keep the fetus inside the uterus during pregnancy and that it soften shortly before term to allow extensive and rapid dilatation at delivery. These alterations are regulated partially by mechanical and partially by endogenous hormonal influences. In addition, it is by now a well-established fact that cervical priming to facilitate induction of labor may be accomplished within a few hours following local administration of, for example, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2).
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