The ovary: from conception to death


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Jacques Donnez, M.D., Ph.D., Marie-Madeleine Dolmans, M.D., Ph.D.


At the dawn of human life, the ovary was intended to function for the entire lifetime of a woman. Indeed, at that time, life expectancy rarely exceeded 35 years while nowadays it is not unusual for women to live into their 80s. So, is it possible for a natural ovary to go on functioning until death? With potentially several million oocytes residing in each ovary at mid-gestation, could it not be feasible to prolong the function of the ovary until the end of life? Let us return to the conception period and analyze the evolution of the ovarian reserve.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility┬« is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.