Cervical ripening and dilation in the ewe has been quantitated in terms of the connective tissue content of the tissue and the biosynthesis of the macromolecular components which make up the extracellular matrix of this tissue. During pregnancy there is a marked increase in the total tissue mass of the cervix along with the total mass of hydroxyproline (collagen) and hexuronate (proteoglycans and hyaluronate). The concentration of hydroxyproline of the cervix based on wet weight of the tissue decreases during pregnancy, however if based on dry weight, the concentration does not change until term. The hexuronate concentration based on both wet and dry weight of the tissue declines with pregnancy. The biosynthesis of collagen does not change during pregnancy but the rate of hyaluronate and proteoglycan synthesis by the cervix is increased in late pregnancy, and at term the rate of proteoglycan biosynthesis is elevated 10-fold. These data suggest that during cervical ripening and dilation a highly dynamic metabolic state exists within the tissue which allows for rapid tissue remodelling.