EDELMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. EDELMANN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Endoscope image of the ovary, the primary female reproductive organ, containing a mature ovarian follicle (Graafian follicle) which houses the ovum (egg) within a fluid-filled sac. Each of the 2 ovaries produces numerous follicles, but only a small proportion of them reach maturity. The follicles secrete the female hormone oestrogen (& also small amounts of androgens - male type hormones). After ovulation, the follicle bursts & releases the ovum into the fallopian tube that connects the ovary with the uterus; a corpus luteum forms at the site of the ruptured follicle & secretes progesterone. Oestrogen & progesterone regulate changes in the womb during pregnancy.
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