# the cervix plays an important role in conception, pregnancy, and childbirth > The cervix is integral to conception, the maintenance of pregnancy, and timely delivery of the baby. Throughout gestation the cervix must remain closed despite multiple forces acting upon it [1]. This enables it to act as a barrier to the ascent of vaginal microorganisms and to retain the growing fetus within the uterus.[[(Nott et al, 2016)#^y7fw4]]