Medical Definition of Gonad, female

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Gonad, female: The female gonad, the ovary or "egg sac", is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women. They are located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries have two functions: they produce eggs (ova) and female hormones.

Each month, during the menstrual cycle, an egg is released from one ovary. The egg travels from the ovary through a fallopian tube to the uterus.

The ovaries are the main source of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone). These hormones control the development of female body characteristics, such as the breasts, body shape, and body hair. They also regulate the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.

Female Illustration - Female gonad
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Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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