Structure Of Ovary:

  The ovary is the gonadal organ (primary sexual organ) in females. There are two ovaries located within the pelvic cavity, on either side of the uterus. Ovaries contain the developing follicles which produce human egg cells (ova/oocytes) in a cyclic manner, and are also responsible for the secretion of some important hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that maintain the endocrine function related to the reproductive system in females. Each ovary has average dimensions of 3 cm (length), 2 cm (breadth), and 1 cm (thickness); hence being smaller than its male analogue – the testis. The ovaries lie almost vertically in the upright position, and have their upper poles tilted slightly laterally facing the fimbriae at the end of the uterine tubes (fallopian tubes). The lower pole is directed towards the wall of the uterus, and is attached to the uterine wall by the ovarian ligament. The anterior border of the ovary is attached to a double fold of peritoneum extending from the posterior leaf of the broad ligament. This peritoneal extension is called the mesovarium. The ovary is covered by a thick fibrous capsule called tunica albuginea, the outer surface of which is lined by a single layer of cuboidal epithelium which has a misleading name – the germinal epithelium. Inner to the tunica albuginea, the ovarian tissue is divided into two regions; a centrally located medulla and a peripheral cortex. The medulla contains blood vessels, lymphatics and nerves of the ovary. The cortex is made up of ground substance that accommodates a huge number of primordial follicles and the various developing stages of these follicles; primary follicles, secondary follicles, and tertiary (Graafian) follicles.

Ovary Level Diagram

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