Learn More about The Ovaries

The Ovaries are essential in both the Female Reproductive System and Endocrine System of a female.

Ovaries in females are the homologous organ to the Testes in a male.

Both organs have gonadal properties as well as endocrine properties. Females typically have two ovaries in the pubic region or lower region of the abdomen.

They are the size of a large olive and are located in an anatomical area know as the “Ovarian Fossa“. Attached to each ovary is a cord like structure called Fimbre – this is a piece of the Fallopian Tube.

The fallopian tube does not actually come into contact with the ovaries. The ovaries are attached to the lateral wall of the pelvis. One primary function of the ovaries is to releases an egg every month.

The release of an egg is done by alternating ovaries – however if one becomes dysfunctional or their is an absence of an ovary – the opposite side picks up for the missing ovary and an egg would be released. The uterine tubes carry the egg (ova) into the uterus.

General information about women and ovaries:

When a baby girl is born she has around between 500,000 and 1,000,000 ovarian follicles that have the potential to become eggs. When her menstrual cycle begins that number has decreased to around 400,000 ovarian follicles that remain.

The monthly menstruation is closely regulated by hormones from the pituitary gland and those found in the ovaries. Ovulation is the process that results in an egg from the ovary


Ovaries secrete 2 primary sex hormones – Progesterone and Estrogen

Progesterone functions with estrogen and induces menstrual cycle cyclic changes in the endometrium Estrogen is closely responsible for the secondary sex characteristics of females at puberty. Estrogen also helps with the maturation and maintenance of the reproductive organs.

There are 3 portions of the uterine tube

1.) Isthmus

–  Connects to the endometrial cavity with the ampullary part of the tube.

2.) Ampulla

–  It is the dilated portion, which curves over the ovary.
–  It is the most common site of human fertilization

3.) Infundibulum

–  It terminates with the Fallopian Tube
–  Is surrounded by the Fimbriae
–  Together, with the fimbria, they find the oocyte after ovulation.

The Uterus is a hollow muscular organ in the pelvic cavity between the rectum and the bladder.

The ova must attach to the uterine wall. Prenatal development occurs if sperm has allowed for a growing embryo.


Cell Types of the Ovary

1.)  Follicular cells  

–  Are flat epithelial cells.
–  Originate from surface epithelium that covers the ovary

2.)  Granulosa Cells

–  These surround the follicular cells.
–  Have changed to cuboidal from flat cells
–  Proliferated to produce stratified epithelium

3.)  Gametes

Disorders of the Ovaries

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Ectopic Pregnancy

Premature Ovarian Failure

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Ovarian Cancer