MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light micrograph of a neonatal ovary showing primordial follicles arranged in nests (smallest follicles) or singly as larger follicles. Primordial follicles form between the fourth and seventh month of human foetal development. Within each follicle is a pale-staining primary oocyte. Once sexual maturity is reached, up to 20 primordial follicles are activated to eventually grow over many months into mature follicles. Only one will reach full maturity and be able to release its ovum (egg) at ovulation. Over a woman's lifetime, 99.9% of her eggs will be eliminated without having been released. Magnification x450 at 10cm width.
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