A mature ovarian follicle containing a ripe egg

A mature ovarian follicle containing a ripe egg

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Credit: EDELMANN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.

Caption: A mature, human ovarian follicle (containing a ripe ovum - egg). Potential eggs are produced within the ovaries, developing as primary follicles (a ring of cells around a central core), many of which do not reach maturity. Those which do not degenerate enlarge, & several layers are formed around the egg, which becomes surrounded in fluid. As the follicle matures it moves towards the surface of the ovary, eventually protruding. After this maturation (14 days) the follicle bursts, expelling the ovum, & leaving a cavity behind. The ovum is received into the trumpet- shaped auricle of the fallopian tube, where potential fertilisation may occur.

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Keywords: anatomy, female, human body, ovarian follicle (h), reproduction, reproductive system

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