Ultrastructure of the human periovulatory cervical mucus

J Electron Microsc (Tokyo). 2005 Oct;54(5):479-84. doi: 10.1093/jmicro/dfh106. Epub 2005 Jul 8.


Two main types of cervical mucus have been described during the menstrual cycle: oestrogenic and progestative. Each category shows diverse morphological and functional features from the reproductive point of view. Traditionally, this change has been approached by analysing morphological patterns. In fact, a mesh model has been described for cervical mucus, structurally composed of fibrillar subunits with a parallel orientation, together with another model in a characteristic network shape with canalicular units, but the real model is not clear. The objective of our work was to study the different morphological structures of the mucus, as related to the day of follicular rupture (considered as day 0) determined by ultrasound. Cervical mucus samples were obtained from the cervical canal with an ASPIRETTEtrade mark from day -4 to day +1 of the menstrual cycle. Samples were fixed and dried by critical point. The ultrastructure was examined with scanning electron microscopy. The presence of three types of oestrogenic and one type of progestative cervical mucus was confirmed in this period. Our paper shows different types of ultrastructure in the oestrogenic mucus in relation to ovulation, which would help to understand the interaction between male gametes and cervical mucus in migration through the female genital tract.

MeSH terms

  • Cervix Mucus / cytology*
  • Cervix Mucus / metabolism
  • Estradiol / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menstrual Cycle
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Ovulation
  • Progesterone / metabolism
  • Semen / cytology
  • Semen / physiology
  • Sperm Motility


  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol