STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ovarian follicle. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of a secondary follicle in the ovary. The developing egg is sectioned at centre (pink) and is surrounded by cuboidal follicular cells (purple). At birth there are tens of thousands of primordial follicles, the precursors to primary follicles, present in the ovaries. Once sexual maturity is reached, up to 20 primordial follicles are triggered to start developing into primary follicles every menstrual cycle. Only one will reach full maturity as a seconday follicle and release its egg (ovum) at ovulation.
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