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The Human Ovaries


What is an Ovary?

The ovary is the reproductive organ which produces the ovum.

bio_ovary3The Ovum is commonly known as egg and it produced in the female body approximately 1/month.

It always present as a pair in the female reproductive organ.

often found in pairs as part of the vertebrate female reproductive system. The ovary is a gonad.  



Anatomy of Ovary

  • Oval shaped
  • Human ovary size is 3 cm x 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm approximately.
  • Located in the lateral wall of the pelvis.
  • Location of ovary is known as ovarian fossa.
  • The fossa lies beneath the external iliac artery and in front of the ureter and the internal iliac artery.



Ovaries secrete two important hormones estrogen and progesterone.


  • Responsible for the appearance of secondary sex characteristics of females at puberty
  • Also responsible for maturation of reproductive organs
  • Maintain the reproductive organs in their mature functional state.

2. Progesterone

  • Promote cyclic changes in the endometrium
  • The endometrium is prepared for pregnancy by progesterone.
  • Maintains the endometrium in a healthy state during pregnancy.


Within the pelvic cavity paired ovaries lie on either side of the uterus. The ovaries are tethered to the body wall via the suspensory ligament of the ovary.

Mesovarium is the part of the broad ligament of the uterus covers the ovary Thus, the ovary invaginated into the peritonium, making it the only interperitoneal organ.


The Two extremities to the ovary:

  1. Tubal extremity:  The end to which the uterine tube attaches
  2. Uterine extremity: Attached to the uterus through the ovarian ligament.


Histology of Ovary

Cell Types

  • Follicular cells
  • Granulosa cells
  • Gametes
  • Germinal epithelium
  • The tunica albuginea covers the cortex.
  • The ovarian cortex consists of ovarian follicles and stroma in between them.
  • Cumulus oophorus, membrana granulosa corona radiata, zona pellucida, and primary oocyte are included in the follicles.
  • Follicle hastThe zona pellucida, theca of follicle, antrum and liquor folliculi
  • The corpus luteum derived from the follicles is in the cortex.
  • Ovarian medulla is the innermost layer.

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