A rat uterine horn model of genital tract wound healing is described. Healing was reflected by acquisition of strength and elasticity, measured by burst strength (BS) and extensibility (EX), respectively. A tensiometer (Instron Corp., Canton, MA) was used to assess these characteristics in castrated and estrogen-supplemented or nonsupplemented animals. While the horn weights (HW), BS, and EX of contralateral horns were not significantly different, the intra-animal variation of HW was 7.2%, BS was 17.7% and EX was 38.2%. In a second experiment, one uterine horn was divided and anastomosed, and the animal given estrogen supplementation or a placebo pellet. Estrogen administration was found to increase BS and EX of anastomosed horns prior to 14 days, but had no beneficial effect at 21 or 42 days. The data suggest that estrogen may be required for optimal early healing of genital tract wounds.