Cervix - Anatomy & Function
The function of the cervix is to allow the flow of menstrual blood from the uterus into the vagina, and direct the sperms into the uterus during intercourse.
The opening of the cervical canal is normally very narrow. However under the influence of the body hormones and the pressure from the fetal head, this opening widens to about 4 inches (10 cm.) during labor, to allow the birth of a baby.
If the opening is loose, as observed in some women, it can lead to miscarriages during pregnancy.
Cervical ripening procedure consists of softening, dilation and shortening of the cervical canal in order to push the baby out without any obstruction.