Your ovaries are grape-size organs found in the female body. They are in charge of producing eggs and secreting sex hormones that promote fertility. You could venture as far as to say that life literally depends on them! But we aren’t stopping there with the fascinating facts! Here are 5 things you may or may not know about ovaries.
What testicles are to men, ovaries are to women.
It’s true. Men aren’t the only one with “gonads”. In fact, gonads are referencing reproductive organs found in both males and females. And what’s more, our ovaries are what also determine the development of either female or male sex organs when growing a human baby. We start with gonads and once chromosomes determine gender, (say a female with XX) the gonads change into what we are now discussing – ovaries!
Found just behind the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus is the hormone control center. This major gland is responsible for everything from adrenals to thyroids and from ovaries to testes. The hypothalamus lets the pituitary gland know it needs to send hormones to the ovaries. From there, ovaries follow suit and send off the desired hormones. That signal returns to the hypothalamus to let it know if the levels of estrogen and progesterone are too high or too low.
Smoking affects ovaries.
As with any internal organ, smoking can cause serious damage to the optimal functioning of the ovaries. Smoking has been linked to causing menopause as early as 2 years prior to typical timeframes.
You can count your chickens before they hatch.
Well, sort of. While modern medicine hasn’t shown us the ability to see which of our eggs will be fertilized and when, we do know that all of the eggs a female will have in her entire lifetime are present at birth in her ovaries.
Keep an eye out for ovarian health issues.
Ovaries can form cysts when there are issues with the natural release from follicles. Many of these cysts will remove themselves over time. However, it is worth monitoring to keep an eye out for multiple cysts or a cyst that is growing in size.
Endometriosis happens when vaginal tissue starts growing somewhere outside the uterus and causes a chronic inflammatory reaction. Women have reported varying issues with this medical diagnosis. For more on what endometriosis is, feel free to read our recent blog.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is another fairly common problem, and it’s caused by a hormonal imbalance that in turn creates problems for the ovaries. PCOS can cause irregular bleeding.