An ovary is an ovum-producing reproductive organ found in female organisms. It is often found in pairs as part of the vertebrate female reproductive system. Ovaries in females are homologous to testes in males. The term gonads refers to the ovaries in females and testes in males.
Ovaries are oval shaped and, in the human, measure approximately 3 cm x 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm. The ovary (for a given side) is located in the lateral wall of the pelvis in a region called the ovarian fossa. The fossa usually lies beneath the external iliac artery and in front of the ureter and the internal iliac artery.
In the human the paired ovaries lie within the pelvic cavity, on either side of the uterus, to which they are attached via a fibrous cord called the ovarian ligament. The ovaries are uncovered in the peritoneal cavity but are tethered to the body wall via the suspensory ligament of the ovary. The part of the broad ligament of the uterus that covers the ovary is known as the mesovarium.
There are two extremities to the ovary:
Each ovary receives blood from the ovarian artery, which arises directly from the anterior abdominal aorta and the ovarian branch of the uterine artery that enters the ovary by way of the broad ligament and thus the mesovarium. The right ovarian vein drains to the inferior vena cava and the left ovarian vein drains to the left renal vein. The ovarian artery and vein are within the suspensory ligament of the ovary (infundibulopelvic ligament). Sources of innervation include the ovarian plexus.
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