The female gonad, the ovary is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries produce eggs (ova) and female hormones. During each monthly menstrual cycle, an egg is released from one ovary. The egg travels from the ovary through a fallopian tube to the uterus. The ovaries are the main source of female hormones, which control the development of female body characteristics, such as the breasts, body shape, and body hair. They also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
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One of the paired female reproductive glands containing the ova or germ cells; the ovaries stroma is a vascular connective tissue containing numbers of ovarian follicles enclosing the ova; surrounding this stroma is a more condensed layer of stroma called the tunica albuginea. SYN: ovarium [TA], female gonad, genital gland (2). [Mod. L. ovarium, fr. ovum, egg]
- mulberry o. the type of o. produced by the administration of anterior pituitary extracts to immature rats; such an o. contains many more follicles than normal, with the follicles in various stages of development and with prominent corpora lutea on their surfaces, thus the perceived resemblance to a mulberry.
- polycystic o. enlarged cystic ovaries, pearl white in color, with thickened tunica albuginea, characteristic of the Stein-Leventhal syndrome; clinical features are abnormal menses, obesity, and evidence of masculinization, such as hirsutism.
- third o. an accessory o..

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ova·ry 'ōv-(ə-)rē n, pl -ries one of the typically paired essential female reproductive organs that produce eggs and in vertebrates female sex hormones, that occur in the adult human as oval flattened bodies about one and a half inches (four centimeters) long suspended from the dorsal surface of the broad ligament of either side, that arise from the mesonephros, and that consist of a vascular fibrous stroma enclosing developing egg cells

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the main female reproductive organ, which produces ova (egg cells) and steroid hormones in a regular cycle (see menstrual cycle) in response to hormones (gonadotrophin) from the anterior pituitary gland. There are two ovaries, situated in the lower abdomen, one on each side of the uterus (see reproductive system). Each ovary contains numerous follicles, within which the ova develop, but only a small proportion of them reach maturity (see Graafian follicle, oogenesis). The follicles secrete oestrogen and small amounts of androgen. After ovulation a corpus luteum forms at the site of the ruptured follicle and secretes progesterone. Oestrogen and progesterone regulate the changes in the uterus throughout the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
ovarian adj.

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ova·ry (oґvə-re) ovarium. ovarian adj

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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