Ovarian Changes During the Climacteric

  • Santo V. Nicosia


The main known functions of the human ovary are the cyclic release of oocytes and the elaboration of steroid hormones. These two functions are closely interrelated during a reproductive life span that may last up to four decades. During this period, cyclic and repetitive changes in estrogen and progesterone secretion are integrated with follicle maturation, ovulation, corpus luteum formation and regression. Cessation of reproductive life is characterized by a decline in ga-metogenic and steroidogenic functions. This decline is gradual and thus ovarian aging represents the conclusion of a chain of events that begins in childhood and terminates with death. This chapter will consider these events from a structural point of view. Greater emphasis will be placed on those morphologic changes that characterize the human ovary between cessation of reproduction and senescence.


Corpus Luteum Primordial Follicle Tunica Albuginea Human Ovary Atretic Follicle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Santo V. Nicosia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Department of Pathology, School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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