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Ovaries - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Follicles. Ovaries. Ovaries. The ovaries serve two functions Produce ova (female germ cells) Secrete the hormones called: Estradiol Progesterone

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  • The ovaries serve two functions
    • Produce ova (female germ cells)
    • Secrete the hormones called:
      • Estradiol
      • Progesterone
  • These ovaries have blister-like structures called follicles which secrete increased amounts of estradiol between days 18 and 21 of the 21-day reproductive cycle.
  • Estradiol stimulates increased blood flow to the reproductive tract and acts with the brain to cause the behavioral signs of estrus(heat)
  • Each follicle contains one developing ovum and estradiol stimulates LH release which causes ovulation and releases each ovum. Ovulation occurs over a period of about 2 hours

Note: Ovum=singular



Days 4 to 18 of the cycle

  • The structures on these ovaries are called corpora lutea or “yellow bodies”. The number of CL’s reflects the number of ova shed during the previous estrus cycle.
  • They form in the spaces left by the follicle after ovulation occurs.
  • They become functional about 3 to 4 days post ovulation and secrete the hormone calledprogesterone.
  • Progesterone is involved in the preparation of the uterus for the in coming zygotes and in the maintenance of pregnancy.
  • If the female does not become pregnant, another hormone, prostaglandin isreleased from the uterus on about day 15 of the cycle, which lyses( regresses) the CL’s and the the female will return to estrus a few days later.




Note: Corpus luteum = singular

Corpora lutea = plural