The ovary is a ductless reproductive gland in which the female reproductive cells are produced. It is one of the paired sexual gonads in females held by a membrane beside the uterus on each side of the lower abdomen. It is needed in reproduction since it is responsible for producing the female reproductive cells or ova. During ovulation, a follicle expels an egg under the stimulation of the luteinizing hormone and the gonadotrophic hormone, also known as the follicle-stimulating hormone. The rest of the follicle or the corpus luteum, secretes the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, which regulate menstruation and control the development of the sex organs. The sex hormones and the gonadotrophic hormones interact with each other to control the menstrual cycle. When an egg matures, it is released and passes into the fallopian tube towards the uterus. If the ovum is fertilized by the male reproductive cell or sperm, conception happens and pregnancy begins. An ovary is normally firm and smooth and is about the size of an almond.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Ovary

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