Ovaries are two small, oval-shaped reproductive organs located on either side of a woman’s uterus. Their primary function is to produce eggs or ova for fertilization each month, and they also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones regulate the menstrual cycle and contribute to the development of female secondary sexual characteristics.

Key Takeaways

  1. Ovaries are female reproductive organs that produce eggs. In humans, a woman typically has two ovaries, and they play a critical role in the process of reproduction.
  2. Ovaries are also responsible for producing vital hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, which regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle and play a crucial role in pregnancy.
  3. Dysfunction or disease in the ovaries, such as polycystic ovary syndrome or ovarian cancer, can significantly impact fertility and general women’s health, further underscoring the importance of regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.


The term “ovaries” is significant in the context of motherhood because these female reproductive organs have a critical role in the process of reproduction and maternity.

Essentially, ovaries are responsible for producing the female sex hormones, estrogen and progesterone, which are vital in various bodily processes, including the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

Moreover, during a woman’s reproductive years, the ovaries release an egg approximately once a month in a process known as ovulation.

If this egg is fertilized by a male sperm, it can potentially implant in the uterus, leading to pregnancy.

Hence, ovarian health is critical to both fertility and successful pregnancy, underscoring the importance of the term “ovaries” in motherhood.


Ovaries play a pivotal role in motherhood as they function as the site for production and storage of female reproductive cells or eggs, also known as ova. These paired oval-shaped organs are situated on both sides of the uterus in the lower abdomen of a woman. Beyond egg production, ovaries are inherently crucial to the reproductive process because they also trigger the menstrual cycle, controlling the development and release of mature eggs for potential conception every month upon the onset of puberty.

The release of an egg from the ovaries during ovulation can result in pregnancy if the egg is fertilized by a male sperm cell. Another significant purpose served by ovaries concerns the production of female hormones, namely estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics in females, such as breast development, body shape changes during puberty, and regulation of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

Progesterone readies the uterus for a possible pregnancy post-ovulation by thickening its lining to host a fertilized egg. If no fertilization occurs, hormone levels descend, triggering menstruation. Overall, the ovaries’ functions link intimately with motherhood, enabling the process of conception, gestation, and the advent of new life.

Examples of Ovaries

Pregnancy: When a woman becomes pregnant, it is the result of one of her ovaries releasing a mature egg that gets fertilized by a sperm. This is an example of how the ovaries play a crucial role in motherhood.

Menopause: This is a period in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing eggs, marking the end of her reproductive years. This occurs typically between the ages of 45 and 55, and signifies a major transition in a woman’s life, including the end of her ability to bear children.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): In some cases, women struggle with fertility due to issues with their ovaries. In these cases, women may turn to procedures like IVF where mature eggs are harvested from the ovaries and fertilized in a lab. This represents another example of the vital role of ovaries in motherhood, as medical interventions can assist in cases where natural conception is difficult.


Frequently Asked Questions about Ovaries

What is the function of the ovaries?

The ovaries produce eggs and hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These are essential for reproductive health, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy.

What is the connection between ovaries and fertility?

The ovaries play a crucial role in fertility as they release an egg each month during the ovulation phase of the menstrual cycle. If the egg gets fertilized by sperm, it implants into the uterus, leading to pregnancy.

How many ovaries does a woman have?

Most women are born with two ovaries, one on each side of the uterus in the pelvic area.

What are common problems with the ovaries?

Common issues with the ovaries include polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), ovarian cysts, ovarian torsion, and ovarian cancer.

What does it mean to have ovaries removed?

Ovary removal, also known as oophorectomy, is a surgical procedure that completely removes one or both ovaries. This may be performed for various reasons, such as ovarian cancer prevention or treatment.


Related Motherhood Terms

  • Follicles
  • Estrogen
  • Ovulation
  • Fallopian Tubes
  • Progesterone

Sources for More Information

  • Mayo Clinic – A prominent health information source, providing articles and resources about ovaries and their role in motherhood.
  • WebMD – A popular online resource for numerous health-related topics, including extensive information on ovaries and how they function.
  • NHS (National Health Service in the UK) – Official health service website for the UK, offering valuable insights covering a range of topics, including the ovaries.
  • Cleveland Clinic – One of the largest and most respected hospitals in the U.S., offering detailed information about ovaries and related health issues.