HELENE FOURNIE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HELENE FOURNIE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ovulation. Illustration of a section through an ovary, showing the development (follicular phase) and release of an ovum (ovulation) during the ovarian cycle. The sequence starts at upper left and moves clockwise to lower left. The phases include the development of a Graafian follicle, the release of the ovum (egg, female reproductive cell) at lower right, and the yellow body (luteinic phase). The ovary is the female reproductive organ. The primary function of the ovaries is to nurture and prepare oocytes for the process of ovulation, the release of the mature egg (ovum) from the ovary. Once an egg is released, it migrates down a fallopian tube (opening shown at top right) to the uterus.
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