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The ovary is an organ found in the female reproductive system that produces an ovum. When released, this travels down the fallopian tube into the uterus, where it may become fertilized by a sperm. There is an ovary (from Latin ovarium, meaning 'egg, nut') found on the left and right sides of the body. The ovaries also secrete hormones that play a role in the menstrual cycle and fertility. The ovary progresses through many stages beginning in the prenatal period through menopause. It is also an endocrine gland because of the various hormones that it secretes.[1]

Contents

1 Structure

1.1 Ligaments 1.2 Microanatomy

2 Function

2.1 Gamete production 2.2 Hormone
Hormone
secretion 2.3 Ovarian aging

3 Clinical significance 4 Society and culture

4.1 Cryopreservation

5 Other animals 6 Additional images 7 See also 8 References 9 Bibliography 10 External links

Structure[edit] The ovaries are considered the female gonads.[2] Each ovary is whitish in color and located alongside the lateral wall of the uterus in a region called the ovarian fossa. The ovarian fossa is the region that is bounded by the external iliac artery and in front of the ureter and the internal iliac artery. This area is about 4 cm x 3 cm x 2 cm in size.[3][4] The ovaries are surrounded by a capsule, and have an outer cortex and an inner medulla.[4] Usually, ovulation occurs in one of the two ovaries releasing an egg each menstrual cycle; however, if there was a case where one ovary was absent or dysfunctional then the other ovary would continue providing eggs to be released without any changes in cycle length or frequency.[medical citation needed] The side of the ovary closest to the fallopian tube is connected to it by infundibulopelvic ligament,[3] and the other side points downwards attached to the uterus via the ovarian ligament. Other structures and tissues of the ovaries include the hilum.

Ligaments[edit] The ovaries lie within the peritoneal cavity, on either side of the uterus, to which they are attached via a fibrous cord called the ovarian ligament. The ovaries are uncovered in the peritoneal cavity but are tethered to the body wall via the suspensory ligament of the ovary which is a posterior extension of the broad ligament of the uterus. The part of the broad ligament of the uterus that covers the ovary is known as the mesovarium.[4] The ovarian pedicle is made up part of the fallopian tube, mesovarium, ovarian ligament, and ovarian blood vessels.[5]

Microanatomy[edit] The surface of the ovaries is covered with membrane consisting of a lining of simple cuboidal-to-columnar shaped mesothelium.[6] The outermost layer is called the germinal epithelium. The outer layer is the ovarian cortex, consisting of ovarian follicles and stroma in between them. Included in the follicles are the cumulus oophorus, membrana granulosa (and the granulosa cells inside it), corona radiata, zona pellucida, and primary oocyte. Theca of follicle, antrum and liquor folliculi are also contained in the follicle. Also in the cortex is the corpus luteum derived from the follicles. The innermost layer is the ovarian medulla.[7] It can be hard to distinguish between the cortex and medulla, but follicles are usually not found in the medulla. Follicular cells flat epithelial cells that originate from surface epithelium covering the ovary, are surrounded by Granulosa cells
Granulosa cells
- that have changed from flat to cuboidal and proliferated to produce a stratified epithelium Other

Capsule of ovary Gametes[8] The ovary also contains blood vessels and lymphatics.[9]

Function[edit] At puberty, the ovary begins to secrete increasing levels of hormones. Secondary sex characteristics
Secondary sex characteristics
begin to develop in response to the hormones. The ability to produce eggs and reproduce develops. The ovary changes structure and function beginning at puberty.[1]

Gamete production[edit] Main article: Oogenesis The ovaries are the site of production and periodical release of egg cells, the female gametes. In the ovaries, the developing egg cells (or oocytes) mature in the fluid-filled follicles. Typically, only one oocyte develops at a time, but others can also mature simultaneously. Follicles are composed of different types and number of cells according to the stage of their maturation, and their size is indicative of the stage of oocyte development.[10]:833 When the oocyte finishes its maturation in the ovary, a surge of luteinizing hormone secreted by the pituitary gland stimulates the release of the oocyte through the rupture of the follicle, a process called ovulation.[11] The follicle remains functional and reorganizes into a corpus luteum, which secretes progesterone in order to prepare the uterus for an eventual implantation of the embryo.[10]:839

Hormone
Hormone
secretion[edit] At maturity, ovaries secrete estrogen, testosterone,[12][13] inhibin, and progesterone.[14][15][1] In women, fifty percent of testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands and released directly into the blood stream.[16] Estrogen
Estrogen
is responsible for the appearance of secondary sex characteristics for females at puberty and for the maturation and maintenance of the reproductive organs in their mature functional state. Progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy, and the mammary glands for lactation. Progesterone
Progesterone
functions with estrogen by promoting menstrual cycle changes in the endometrium.[medical citation needed]

Ovarian aging[edit] As women age, they experience a decline in reproductive performance leading to menopause. This decline is tied to a decline in the number of ovarian follicles. Although about 1 million oocytes are present at birth in the human ovary, only about 500 (about 0.05%) of these ovulate, and the rest are wasted. The decline in ovarian reserve appears to occur at a constantly increasing rate with age,[17] and leads to nearly complete exhaustion of the reserve by about age 52. As ovarian reserve and fertility decline with age, there is also a parallel increase in pregnancy failure and meiotic errors resulting in chromosomally abnormal conceptions.[medical citation needed] Women with an inherited mutation in the DNA repair gene BRCA1 undergo menopause prematurely,[18] suggesting that naturally occurring DNA damages in oocytes are repaired less efficiently in these women, and this inefficiency leads to early reproductive failure. The BRCA1 protein plays a key role in a type of DNA repair termed homologous recombinational repair that is the only known cellular process that can accurately repair DNA double-strand breaks. Titus et al.[19] showed that DNA double-strand breaks accumulate with age in humans and mice in primordial follicles. Primordial follicles contain oocytes that are at an intermediate (prophase I) stage of meiosis. Meiosis
Meiosis
is the general process in eukaryotic organisms by which germ cells are formed, and it is likely an adaptation for removing DNA damages, especially double-strand breaks, from germ line DNA.[20] (see Meiosis
Meiosis
and Origin and function of meiosis). Homologous recombinational repair is especially promoted during meiosis. Titus et al.[19] also found that expression of 4 key genes necessary for homologous recombinational repair of DNA double-strand breaks (BRCA1, MRE11, RAD51 and ATM) decline with age in the oocytes of humans and mice. They hypothesized that DNA double-strand break repair is vital for the maintenance of oocyte reserve and that a decline in efficiency of repair with age plays a key role in ovarian aging.

Clinical significance[edit] Ovarian diseases can be classified as endocrine disorders or as a disorders of the reproductive system.[medical citation needed] If the egg fails to release from the follicle in the ovary an ovarian cyst may form. Small ovarian cysts are common in healthy women. Some women have more follicles than usual (polycystic ovary syndrome), which inhibits the follicles to grow normally and this will cause cycle irregularities.

Notes

Ref(s)

Ovarian neoplasms

Germ cell tumor

Seen most often in young women or adolescent girlsOther germ cell tumors are: Endodermal sinus tumor
Endodermal sinus tumor
and teratoma,

[21]

Ovarian cancer

includes ovarian epithelial cancer

[22][23][24]

Luteoma

[25]

Ovaritis

syn. oophoritis

[15]

Ovarian remnant syndrome

[15]

Hypogonadism

Hyperthecosis

Ovarian torsion

Ovarian apoplexy (rupture)

Premature ovarian failure

Anovulation

Follicular cyst of ovary

Corpus luteum
Corpus luteum
cyst

Theca lutein cyst

Chocolate cyst

Ovarian germ cell tumors

benign

[26]

Dysgerminoma

Choriocarcinoma

Yolk sac tumor

Teratoma

Ovarian serous cystadenoma

Serous cystadenocarcinoma

Mucinous cystadenoma

Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma

Brenner tumor

Granulosa cell
Granulosa cell
tumor

Krukenberg tumor

Society and culture[edit] Cryopreservation[edit] Cryopreservation
Cryopreservation
of ovarian tissue, often called ovarian tissue cryopreservation, is of interest to women who want to preserve their reproductive function beyond the natural limit, or whose reproductive potential is threatened by cancer therapy,[27] for example in hematologic malignancies or breast cancer.[28] The procedure is to take a part of the ovary and carry out slow freezing before storing it in liquid nitrogen whilst therapy is undertaken. Tissue can then be thawed and implanted near the fallopian, either orthotopic (on the natural location) or heterotopic (on the abdominal wall),[28] where it starts to produce new eggs, allowing normal conception to take place.[29] A study of 60 procedures concluded that ovarian tissue harvesting appears to be safe.[28] The ovarian tissue may also be transplanted into mice that are immunocompromised (SCID mice) to avoid graft rejection, and tissue can be harvested later when mature follicles have developed.[30]

Other animals[edit] Ovary
Ovary
of a marine fish and its parasite, the nematode Philometra fasciati Birds have only one functional ovary (the left), while the other remains vestigial. Ovaries in females are analogous to testes in males, in that they are both gonads and endocrine glands. Ovaries of some kind are found in the female reproductive system of many animals that employ sexual reproduction, including invertebrates. However, they develop in a very different way in most invertebrates than they do in vertebrates, and are not truly homologous.[31] Many of the features found in human ovaries are common to all vertebrates, including the presence of follicular cells, tunica albuginea, and so on. However, many species produce a far greater number of eggs during their lifetime than do humans, so that, in fish and amphibians, there may be hundreds, or even millions of fertile eggs present in the ovary at any given time. In these species, fresh eggs may be developing from the germinal epithelium throughout life. Corpora lutea are found only in mammals, and in some elasmobranch fish; in other species, the remnants of the follicle are quickly resorbed by the ovary. In birds, reptiles, and monotremes, the egg is relatively large, filling the follicle, and distorting the shape of the ovary at maturity.[31] Amphibians and reptiles have no ovarian medulla; the central part of the ovary is a hollow, lymph-filled space.[32] The ovary of teleosts is also often hollow, but in this case, the eggs are shed into the cavity, which opens into the oviduct.[31] Certain nematodes of the genus Philometra
Philometra
are parasitic in the ovary of marine fishes and can be spectacular, with females as long as 40 cm, coiled in the ovary of a fish half this length.[33] Although most normal female vertebrates have two ovaries, this is not the case in all species. In most birds and in platypuses, the right ovary never matures, so that only the left is functional. (Exceptions include the kiwi and some, but not all raptors, in which both ovaries persist.[34][35]) In some elasmobranchs, only the right ovary develops fully. In the primitive jawless fish, and some teleosts, there is only one ovary, formed by the fusion of the paired organs in the embryo.[31]

Additional images[edit]

Left Ovary

Ovaries

See also[edit] Ovarian reserve Folliculogenesis Oophorectomy Ovarian drilling References[edit]

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^ a b Ross M, Pawlina W (2011). Histology: A Text and Atlas (6th ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 978-0-7817-7200-6.

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^ "Normal Testosterone
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^ "Testosterone: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". www.nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2017-11-19.

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^ Livebirth after orthotopic transplantation of cryopreserved ovarian tissue The Lancet, Sep 24, 2004

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^ Moravec, František; Justine, Jean-Lou (2014). "Philometrids (Nematoda: Philometridae) in carangid and serranid fishes off New Caledonia, including three new species". Parasite. 21: 21. doi:10.1051/parasite/2014022. ISSN 1776-1042. PMC 4023622. PMID 24836940.

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Bibliography[edit] Venes, Donald (2013). Taber's cyclopedic medical dictionary. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis. ISBN 9780803629790. External links[edit]

Look up ovary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ovary. From the American Medical Association Merck Online Medical Library: Female Reproductive System vteFemale reproductive systemInternalAdnexaOvariesFollicles corpus hemorrhagicum luteum albicans Theca of follicle externa interna Follicular antrum Follicular fluid Corona radiata Zona pellucida Membrana granulosa Perivitelline space Other Germinal epithelium Tunica albuginea cortex Cumulus oophorus Stroma Medulla Fallopian tubes Isthmus Ampulla Infundibulum Fimbria Ostium Ligaments Ovarian ligament Suspensory ligament Wolffian vestiges Gartner's duct Epoophoron Vesicular appendages of epoophoron Paroophoron UterusRegions Body Uterine cavity Fundus Cervix External orifice Cervical canal Internal orifice Supravaginal portion Vaginal portion Uterine horns Layers Endometrium epithelium Myometrium Perimetrium Parametrium Ligaments Round ligament Broad ligament Cardinal ligament Uterosacral ligament Pubocervical ligament General Uterine glands Vagina Fossa of vestibule of vagina Vaginal fornix Hymen Vaginal rugae Support structures Vaginal epithelium ExternalVulvaLabia Mons pubis Labia
Labia
majora Anterior commissure Posterior commissure Pudendal cleft Labia
Labia
minora Frenulum of labia minora Frenulum of clitoris Vulval vestibule Interlabial sulci Bulb of vestibule Vaginal orifice vestibular glands/ducts Bartholin's glands/Bartholin's ducts Skene's glands/Skene's ducts Clitoris Crus of clitoris Corpus cavernosum Clitoral glans Hood Urethra Urethral crest Other G-spot Urethral sponge Perineal sponge

vteAnatomy of the endocrine systemPituitary glandAnterior Pars intermedia Pars tuberalis Pars distalis Acidophil cell Somatotropic cell Prolactin cell Somatomammotrophic cell Basophil cell Corticotropic cell Gonadotropic cell Thyrotropic cell Chromophobe cell Posterior Pars nervosa Median eminence Stalk Pituicyte Herring bodies Thyroid Follicular cell Parafollicular cell Parathyroid gland Chief cell Oxyphil cell Adrenal glandCortex Zona glomerulosa Zona fasciculata Zona reticularis Medulla Chromaffin cell Gonads Testicle Leydig cell Sertoli cell Ovary Theca interna Granulosa cell Corpus luteum Islets of pancreas Alpha cell Beta cell PP cell Delta cell Epsilon cell Pineal gland Pinealocyte Corpora arenacea Other Enteroendocrine cell Paraganglia Organ of Zuckerkandl Placenta Development List of human endocrine organs and actions

vteGerm cell tumors (ICD-O 9060–9119) (C45–C49/D17–D21, 171/214–215)Germinomatous Germinoma Seminoma Dysgerminoma Nongerminomatous Embryonal carcinoma Endodermal sinus tumor/Yolk sac tumor Teratoma: Fetus in fetu Dermoid cyst Struma ovarii Strumal carcinoid Trophoblastic neoplasm: Gestational trophoblastic disease Hydatidiform mole Choriocarcinoma Placental site trophoblastic tumor Polyembryoma Gonadoblastoma

vteTumors: female urogenital neoplasia (C51–C58/D25–D28, 179–184/218–221)AdnexaOvariesGlandular and epithelial/surface epithelial-stromal tumorCMS: Ovarian serous cystadenoma Mucinous cystadenoma Cystadenocarcinoma Papillary serous cystadenocarcinoma Krukenberg tumor

Endometrioid tumor Clear-cell ovarian carcinoma Brenner tumour Sex cord-gonadal stromal Leydig cell
Leydig cell
tumour Sertoli cell
Sertoli cell
tumour Sertoli- Leydig cell
Leydig cell
tumour Thecoma Granulosa cell
Granulosa cell
tumour Luteoma Sex cord tumour with annular tubules Steroid cell tumor (NOS) Germ cell Dysgerminoma Nongerminomatous Embryonal carcinoma Endodermal sinus tumor Gonadoblastoma Teratoma/Struma ovarii Choriocarcinoma Fibroma Meigs syndrome Fallopian tube Adenomatoid tumor UterusMyometrium Uterine fibroids/leiomyoma Leiomyosarcoma Adenomyoma Endometrium Endometrioid tumor Uterine papillary serous carcinoma Endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia Uterine clear-cell carcinoma Cervix Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia Clear cell carcinoma SCC Glassy cell carcinoma Villoglandular adenocarcinoma Placenta Choriocarcinoma Gestational trophoblastic disease General Uterine sarcoma Mixed Müllerian tumor Vagina Squamous-cell carcinoma
Squamous-cell carcinoma
of the vagina Botryoid rhabdomyosarcoma Clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina Vaginal intraepithelial neoplasia Vaginal cysts Vulva SCC Melanoma Papillary hidradenoma Extramammary Paget's disease Vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia Bartholin gland carcinoma

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