Marla Ahlgrimm on Ovaries

Marla AhlgrimmQ: What are ovaries?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Ovaries are a female’s primary reproductive organ. They are glands that release eggs for fertilization, protect these eggs while they wait to be implanted, and secrete sex hormones. Women are born with two ovaries, but they do not become functional until puberty. Then, they grow to approximately the size of a large grape and settle into their permanent home inside of the uterus against the pelvic wall. The ovaries are then held tightly in place by special ligaments, which are attached to the uterus.

Q: What did ovaries do?

Marla Ahlgrimm: In addition to secreting sex hormones, the ovaries release eggs during a female’s menstrual cycle. During this process, which is known as ovulation, a woman can become pregnant.

Q: How many eggs does a woman’s ovaries have?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Females are born with up to 500,000 eggs, which lie dormant in a follicle. At sexual maturity, a woman has around 70,000 follicles left, and each month one of these is stimulated to release an egg, biologically for the purpose of reproduction.

Q: Are ovaries always healthy?

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm: Like other parts of the human body, ovaries are prone to specific conditions. Among them are ovarian cysts, which can cause significant abdominal pain. Women with multiple cysts may have polycystic ovary syndrome. Occasionally, a cyst will develop into cancer, and approximately one in 75 women will experience this during their lifetime.

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