Ovaries are two small egg-shaped organs in the female reproductive system. Ovum is produced and released by ovaries into the fallopian tube. Ovum (eggs) get fertilized with sperm. The fertilized eggs, better known as embryos, then get implanted to the lining of endometrium leading to pregnancy.
Ovaries also produce important pregnancy hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for maintaining pregnancy. Ovaries thus play a vital role in pregnancy; hence, its size matters.
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An ovary has a normal size of 3.5cmx2.5cmx1.5cm on an average. The size starts decreasing when no of eggs starts decreasing with increase in age and continues after menopause. This is physiological. But there are other reasons when the size becomes small.
Ovaries size differs according to age. The size is different at different stages of a woman's life. Ovaries are smaller than the average size before puberty. At the age when she enters puberty, the size increases and attends maximum size during pregnancy. After 35 years, the size starts decreasing and after menopause, the size of the ovaries becomes less than 2 cm.
Pathological conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), follicular cysts, and corpus luteum cyst, there is an increased ovarian volume. PCOS causes irregular menstrual cycle and immense bleeding during periods. The other 2 conditions cause a transient change in the periods. The woman having such disorder is unable to conceive. The size of ovaries is enlarged in cases of ovarian cancer.
Must Read: Ovary size
Women who are diagnosed with infertility undergo fertility treatment, they receive hormonal stimulation injection to make their ovaries produce and release eggs. In such condition, there is an enlargement of the ovaries. This is also transient and resolves in 1 or 2 months.
Ovaries are enlarged during pregnancy. As the ovaries have to produce pregnancy hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, the size increases. Although the doctor should make sure the enlargement is not pathological.
Must Read: About PCOS
This procedure is done for resistant PCOS who do not ovulate. But if done too much destroys the eggs and decreases the size of the ovary.
While removing endometriotic or any other ovarian cyst completely, some normal ovarian tissue is also destroyed or removed, in turn reducing the size and the egg reserve.
While removing the tube, the blood supply to the ovary can be hampered as both are very near to each other. So the no of eggs and the size reduces gradually.
Any emergency surgery in the pelvis like open appendicectomy had cause adhesions and affect the blood supply to the right ovary and reduce the size of the ovary.
It is essential for you to keep your ovaries and eggs healthy, so to have a normal conception.
To know more: About Is laparoscopy necessary for infertility?
Being overweight can cause a lot of problems. Decreasing body weight keeps PCOS under check.
Following a proper exercise routine keeps your body fit and healthy. Exercise helps your reproductive system healthy. Yoga is also very beneficial for women.
Keep your worries and stress to minimal. Do one enjoyable thing a day to reduce your stress level. Stress can deteriorate your health and has a bad effect on your reproductive system. So be happy and relaxed.
Have a balanced and healthy food. Food is an important part of your life. Food has a direct effect on your body. Having fruits and fresh vegetables keep your reproductive system healthy. Fewer carbohydrates, high proteins and less sugar play a major role in helping ovulation, especially in PCOS women. Women above 35 years should take antioxidants like wheatgrass juice and royal jelly to improve the quality of eggs.
You should avoid alcohol and smoking. Cigarettes and alcohol are said to cause fertility problems. Smoking either first hand or second hand will cause fast destruction of eggs in the ovaries and in turn to reduce the size of ovaries, leading to premature menopause.
So, the more the eggs, the bigger is the ovary, as in case of PCOS. In the case of elderly women, the size is small.
The chances of conception are more in young PCOS women, of course with treatment and a healthy lifestyle.
The small ovary is a warning sign for women who are trying to postpone their pregnancy