Anatomy of the ovaries


The ovaries (lat. Ovaries) are among the inner female sexual organs. They are arranged in pairs and are located on either side of the uterus, to which they are connected via the fallopian tubes. The ovaries regulate the female menstrual cycle and are fundamental for achieving pregnancy. They also produce the female sex hormones, oestrogens and progesterone, which are necessary for the development of the female secondary sexual characteristics.

Anatomy of the ovaries

The ovaries are arranged in pairs and are located in the small pelvis, in the ovary fossa, approximately at the level of the fork in the aorta abdominalis. The ovaries are located intraperitoneally, which means that the organ lies within the peritoneal cavity (peritoneal cavity). The peritoneal cavity is formed by two leaves of the peritoneum.

The outer leaf, Peritoneum parietale, lines the peritoneal cavity from the inside, while the inner leaf, Peritoneum viscerale, lines the inner organs. The space between the two leaves is filled with a clear, viscous secretion which reduces the friction between the organs, thus allowing them to move around safely. The ovaries are about 3-5 cm long and about 1 cm thick.

They are oval in shape and are suspended in the abdominal cavity by several elastic, connective tissue bands. A young ovary has a smooth surface, but after the beginning of sexual maturity, when several follicles (follicles) mature, the ovaries acquire a blistered, distended surface. In the immediate vicinity of the ovaries lie the fallopian tubes, the uterus, as well as the ureters and nerves of the lumbar plexus.

The ovaries are supplied by the ovarian arteries (Arteriae ovarica), which come directly from the main artery on both sides, and additionally by branches of the uterine arteries. The venous blood is drained via the ovarian veins (Venae ovarica), which flows into the renal vein on the left and into the inferior vena cava on the right. The ovaries are innervated by vegetative nerve plexuses, of which several nerve fibres run directly to the ovaries.

Histologically, the ovaries consist of an outer cortex and an inner medullary part. The cortex contains the oocytes, which are present in follicles and mature with each cycle. In the medulla of the ovaries, which consists of loose connective tissue, there are numerous blood vessels, nerve fibres and lymph vessels.

Ovarian position

The ovaries lie in the Fossa ovarica, a small tissue cavity in the small pelvis. It is located approximately at the level where the aorta divides into the two pelvic arteries (Aa. Iliacae communes). The ovaries lie within the peritoneal cavity and border on the ureters and fallopian tubes, and on the right on the appendix of the appendix.