Human body is something that never fails to surprise us and is one of the most complex mechanisms. With that being said, one must know about the important functions that ovaries have to play in a woman’s body and its role in reproductive health and overall wellbeing. A pair of ova producing organs, ovaries are responsible for maintaining the female reproductive health. Similar to the size of almonds, these ovaries store millions of eggs inside them which are released through the fallopian tube and matured during the process of ovulation. This set of ova producing hormones also known to promote female fertility by the secretion and production of sex hormones. Read along to know some fascinating facts about this mighty organ.
#1. They contain the lifetime supply of eggs at time of the birth
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The fetus of a woman generally carries millions of immature eggs known as the oocytes present in their ovarian follicles. The number eventually drops down at time of the birth and the female child is born with all the eggs that she will ever have in her lifetime. Unlike sperms that are produced in millions on a daily basis, there are a fixed number of eggs that a woman has which are carried by the ovaries even before the birth. The number of these eggs tends to reduce as the age increases. Where there are about 2,50,000 eggs present in the ovaries, the number drops to about 400 to 500 by the time of menopause.
Another mind blowing fact about the ovaries and eggs is that, when pregnant with a girl child, a woman carries her potential grandchildren as well.
#2. Ovaries tend to change their shape with time
As you grow in height and shape with an increasing age, your ovaries do too. Before a woman hits puberty, the ovaries are smaller than the average size. After puberty the size of ovaries tends to increase and attains its maximum size during the time of pregnancy. After the age of 35 years the size of ovaries starts to decrease and it tends to shrink even more after a woman hits menopause. The size of ovaries shrink as by this time the purpose of ovaries has been fulfilled and hence it becomes less than 2 centimeters in size.
#3. Ovaries tend to chill when you are on birth control pill
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Well it seems like birth control pills are the chill pills for your ovaries. Your ovaries are responsible for the production of hormones named estrogen and progesterone that play an important role in a woman’s reproductive health. When you are on birth control pills, the hormonal needs of the body are being taken care of by these pills. As the hormonal functioning and production is being taken care of by these pills, it prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs during ovulation or the menstrual cycle. It does so by altering the hormonal levels of the body.
#4. Every Cycle has one Boss egg
Many follicles tend to grow during the follicular phase of a menstrual cycle before ovulation. One of these many follicles turns out to be the most dominant one just before ovulation. In most cases, this dominant cell is the one which produces the matured egg that travels down the fallopian tube to get fertilised.
Where in majority of the cases only one dominant cell tends to get matured, sometimes the number of these matured eggs might turn up to be 2, 3 or 4 in number. When these multiples matured eggs travel down through the fallopian tube and get fertilized by an equal number of sperms, they result in twins, triplets or quadruplets. Not just this but birth of multiple children is also possible when just one egg gets matured as the fertilized egg might split up into multiple parts.
#5. Ovaries do get affected by stress
With stress being a feeling of emotion and physical tension, it tends to affect various parts of your body such as the skin, respiratory and cardiovascular system, digestion and even reproductive system after having a direct impact over the ovaries. Psychological stress tends to affect the brain that is responsible for regulating and proper functioning of pituitary glands. These pituitary glands are responsible for several reproductive functions taking place in your body. One might even experience a delay in their periods or issues with pregnancy due to excessive psychological stress.
#6. Ovaries are responsible for producing hormones
Not just a basket that safely keeps your eggs since the rime of birth, but ovaries are also an organ responsible for producing various hormones. Two of the most important female sex hormones known as estrogen and progestrone are produced by the ovaries. Ovaries produce different levels of these hormones depending upon the lifestyle and environmental factors along with the medications one is consuming.
#7. Smoking rots Ovaries
Who said that smoking is just bad for your lungs and would not affect your entire body. One must know that smoking is way more dangerous than alcohol consumption and can adversely affect reproductive health. Smoking cigarettes is known to decrease the number of eggs present inside a woman’s ovaries and causes the ovaries to age prematurely. Toxins present in these cigarettes also have ill effects on the ovarian follicle that leads to DNA damage and might lead to abnormal development of the egg.