Wikipedia : 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 menustral 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.
The ovaries are considered the female gonads. Each ovary is whitish in color and
located alongside the lateral wall of the uterus in a region called the ovarian fossa.
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
Function of the Ovary
At puberty, the ovary begins to secrete increasing levels of hormones. 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.
At maturity, ovaries secrete estrogen, testosterone, inhibin , and progesterone. In
women, fifty percent of testosterone is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands and
released directly into the blood stream. 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
functions with estrogen by promoting menstrual cycle changes in the endometrium.
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. The
decline in ovarian reserve appears to occur at a constantly increasing rate with age, 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 .
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. 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),where it starts to produce new eggs, allowing normal conception to take place.
Ovarian cancer may cause several signs and symptoms. Women are more likely to have symptoms if the disease has spread, but even early-stage ovarian cancer can cause them. The most common symptoms include:
Pelvic or Abdominal pain
Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
Urinary symptoms such as urgency