I didn’t realise the full extent of the functions of the ovaries. At least to me, they helped to produce the eggs and that is all from basic biology. Until my mom was to undergo a hysterectomy earlier this year. I mentioned it to Nicole and she had hoped that they were not removing the ovaries too.
That was new to me. I asked Dr. Google, called a doctor-friend to ask and he was the one who mentioned a Partial hysterectomy, and with that information, sent me back to Dr. Google, from whom I was able to get more information, especially as I knew what I was now looking for.
Long story short, I called my sister and asked her to confirm with the doctor if they were going to spare my mom’s ovaries. They confirmed that that was what they were going to do; remove the fibroid, her uterus but spare the ovaries, so they could continue to secrete the female hormones that her body needs, otherwise, we would be talking about all sorts of issues now and perhaps, she would even need hormone replacement therapy by now.
The only thing missing is her period and my mom isn’t missing it.
Regarding the ovaries, here are the things all women should know, because most of us do carry this reproductive part.
The ovaries produce a lot of hormones:
Well, this is one of the things widely known about the ovaries. They are hormone- producing machines.
The ovaries secrete estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are responsible for the development of the female body during puberty (think the growth of breasts, the onset of menstrual period, and the widening of hips).
During the reproductive years, both estrogen and progesterone also prep the uterus for conception, and even the sustenance of a pregnancy. Not producing enough of these two hormones can lead to an inability to get pregnant. Too much of it in the body is also an issue.
Apart from these female hormones, the ovaries are also responsible for secreting the male hormone, testosterone, which is responsible for the female sex drive. The male hormone is secreted in small doses compared to the other hormones.
You have acne? Your ovaries might be the cause:
Now, I will admit this intrigues me. How can my unending battle with acne be traced to my ovaries? Well…let’s find out together. According to my research, some acne can be based on hormonal reactions.
And since the ovaries play such a big role in maintaining hormonal balance in the body, they can be the root of most hormonally-driven bodily issues.
Certain conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), means the hormone balance of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone have become really altered.
In this case, excess testosterone symptoms like acne, hair growth in typically male places like the jaw line, chest area, and weight fluctuations can be seen.
And apart from physical changes, we all know PCOS can lead to infertility but thank God, all hope is not lost, as some moms suffering from the condition have gone ahead to carry healthy babies to full term.
The ovaries change in size over the years and month:
The ovaries, which are found at the opening of the fallopian tube, are unlike most other internal organs. They change. Their sizes are not the same at all times. Research has shown that they usually change a lot over the course of a woman’s cycle and the course of her lifetime.
Month to month, her reproductive powerhouses (which are about three to five centimeters in length normally) will fluctuate as they do their business of releasing an egg every month.
The ovaries often grow a little in size during ovulation, and that is due to the likely formation of a small cyst that comes along with it, but that growth is only temporary.
The small changes in size will automatically stop once menopause happens. Officially the services of the ovaries are no longer needed, thus they go limp.
The ovaries too feel stress:
Simply put, your ovaries know when you are stressed out and know that it is time to shut down the release of eggs. It’s just nature’s way of not adding to the burden of an already burdened body.
When the body is undergoing major stress, the ovaries gets the signal and interpret that to mean the woman is not in a good phase to get pregnant.
That just shows that the connection between stress and infertility should be taken a lot more serious.
Ovaries love the pill:
Now, this was not what nature intended but the pill has come to stay, and it is a safe means of preventing unwanted pregnancies and save lives in the process. Yes, it has synthetic hormones but the ovaries have come to love it.
According to the American Cancer Society, birth control pills, especially the estrogen and progesterone versions of the pill, can majorly reduce a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer within just a few months of starting.
The Pill even plays a significant role in reducing the risk in women, who are carriers of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations (which puts a woman at higher risk for ovarian cancer).
Studies have shown that the risk of ovarian cancer is cut by up to 50 percent and in some cases and it comes with the additional benefit of being extremely effective, when it comes to family planning.
Talk of killing two birds with one stone and you are not far from the truth.
So, there are the five things you should know about your ovaries, the powerhouse of your bodily and fertility hormones.
Hope you got something from my narrative.
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