- The outer part of the cervix that opens into the vagina. The ectocervix is lined with squamous cells (thin, flat-looking cells under a microscope). During a pelvic exam, cells may be scraped from the ectocervix so they can be checked under a microscope for infection, inflammation, cervical cancer, or changes that may become cervical cancer. Most cervical cancers begin in squamous cells. Also called exocervix.