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Ovaries Function

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Ovaries Function Empty Ovaries Function

Post  mrsamct Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:07 am

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Ovaries are a part of the female reproductive system in vertebrates. They are the homologous pairs of the testes in the male reproductive system. Ovaries are a pair of ovum producing glands that are oval in shape and are the size of an almond. The ovary size is about 3 cm x 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm. The ovaries are present right above the fallopian tubes in the lateral wall of the pelvis. The region where the ovaries are present is called the ovarian fossa. Ovaries are not attached to the fallopian tubes but they are attached to the outer layer of uterus with the help of ovarian ligaments. Ovaries function by releasing eggs every month; each ovary takes turns to release the egg. However, in case one of the ovaries cease to function or is damaged, the other will continue to produce eggs.

Functioning of the Ovaries

The ovaries are organs that contain and nurture the ova throughout their life. The function of ovaries is to produce one egg per month. Every month during ovulation, the right or left ovary produces a single mature egg that is ready for fertilization by the male sperm. There is only one egg that gets matured every month. However, during the ovulation period there are about 10 to 20 follicles that undergo the process of maturation. The extra follicles are reabsorbed before the process of ovulation occurs.

Once the egg is released from the ovary, it travels for several days through the oviduct to reach the uterus. The fallopian tube helps in movement of the eggs by carrying out wavelike movements. The fallopian tubes are lined with cilia internally. They help in pushing the sperm towards the egg in case of unprotected intercourse. The egg is fertilized within the fallopian tube near the ovary. After about 5 to 6 days, the fertilized egg will reach the uterus.

This was about the reproductive aspect of ovaries functioning. There is one more function of the ovaries that involves hormonal regulation. Let us have a look at the ovaries function related to hormones. Estrogen and progesterone are the two hormones secreted by the ovaries. Estrogen is the hormone that helps in exhibition of the secondary sexual characteristics of females during puberty. It is also responsible for the maturation as well as the maintenance of the reproductive organs once they reach their mature functional role. Progesterone also works with estrogen in carrying out the cyclic changes of the endometrium. This means it prepares the endometrium for pregnancy and also maintaining the health of the endometrium during the period of pregnancy.

When there is a drop of estrogen level in the body, the hypothalamus receives a signal to secret gonadotropin releasing hormone. This hormone then signals the pituitary gland to increase the secretion of the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). This FSH helps in growth of 10 to 20 ovarian follicles. Thus, making estrogen responsible for the growth of the uterine lining during the initial phases of the female menstrual cycle. It is also responsible for regulation of other metabolic processes within the female body.

Ovaries Function after Menopause

The function of the ovaries after menopause reduces to a significant amount. These ovaries no longer produce estrogen that has a major impact on a woman's health. The reduction of estrogen levels in the body increases the risk of osteoporosis, heart diseases as well as having a negative effect on the skin and hair of a woman. However, the lack of estrogen is compensated by the male hormone testosterone produced in the her body. This testosterone is converted into estrogen with the help of a process that is called aromatization. Thus, post menopause, there are many positive changes brought about by this process of androgenesis (production of testosterone). The woman may experience mood changes, level of physical activity, increase in libido, bone density, etc. The testosterone tries and makes up for the decrease in level of estrogen that had an important role in her metabolism. However, high levels of testosterone may cause development of male characteristics in rare cases. Thus, ovaries function after menopause is producing small levels of estrogen and androgen for the next 10 years or more. In some way or the other, the ovaries keep interacting with the woman's body after menopause.

This was all about ovaries functioning before and after menopause. Ovaries not only play an important role in the female reproductive system, but also in hormone regulation. This was all about what are the ovary functions in the female body.
By Batul Nafisa Baxamusa


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Join date : 2011-08-04

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