5 Surprising Ovary Facts You Should Know
Image source: Charles Deluvio
It’s always surprising to think about everything that we don’t know about our own bodies. We literally live in them every single day, but let’s be honest, we don’t know the ins and outs about how they work.
Honestly, when I was researching about ovaries for this post, I was so embarrassed about what I didn’t know. I had gone through the entirety of my life not knowing what was going on inside of my own body. And I know I’m not the only one.
I wanted to make sure that you weren’t left in the dark like I was for so long simply because I didn’t seek out the facts.
Here are some things that you may or may not have known about ovaries:
The size of your ovaries change
This is not even something that crossed my mind to think about or question, but when I discovered this fact, I was fascinated. Your ovaries change size from month to month depending on your cycle, which is unlike other organs in your body which remain the same size your whole life.
Normally, your ovaries are 3-5 centimeters in length, but that length will fluctuate while you’re menstruating because they’re busy releasing an egg.
Once you hit menopause, your ovaries will actually start to shrivel up and become next to nothing. Which sounds scary, but it’s totally normal.
You lose eggs throughout your life
I mean, this is common knowledge if you stop and think about what menstruation is, but I’ve never really taken the time to think about the fact women are born with 1 million eggs. 1 million. Inside your baby selves. That’s wild.
By the time a woman reaches puberty, that number is down to approximately 300,00 eggs, which is still a crazy high number. However, during menstruation, a woman will lose about 300-400 eggs throughout her lifetime.
When talking about fertility, this is why some people say that their “biological clock is ticking.” Although their chance of having a baby is still there, the more we age, the more eggs we have lost.
Egg Cells are some of the largest in your body
Yes. You read that right. Eggs are the largest cells in your entire body. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty awesome.
Egg cells are approximately 100 microns in diameter, which is about the thickness of an average strand of hair.
Cysts are Common
There are different types of ovarian cysts and most women will actually have at least one during their lifetime. So there is no need to immediately freak out when you find out you have one.
Cysts are very common and it occurs when a sack full of fluid forms in the ovary.
Most ovarian cysts thankfully go away by themselves over time, but they can be uncomfortable causing pain and discomfort. Which is the last thing women need—more pain and discomfort in their ovaries.
Although most ovarian cysts are benign and go away by themselves, there can be complications which can lead to infertility, ruptures, or turn cancerous. Signs of an abnormal cyst include fever, dizziness, and rapid breathing. So although it is a common occurrence, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms you are experiencing and to seek medical treatment. You can never be too safe.
Stress can and will affect your ovaries
Stress is something that affects more than just your emotions and feelings. Stress can affect all parts of your body, including your ovaries. Stress can greatly affect your ovaries and can cause them to act abnormally. It can lead to your cycle fluctuating abnormally, even causing you to miss your period entirely.
Stress can also cause more severe effects on your ovaries including Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), ovarian cysts, and even infertility.
Taking the time to be aware of your stressors and figuring out how to lessen them is important practice on a daily basis, not only for your mental health, but your physical health as well.
It’s important to not only be knowledgeable about how your body functions on a daily basis, but even more important to recognize when something doesn’t feel right. It’s important, for women especially, to understand how their bodies function on a normal basis so they can seek treatment when they know something isn’t right. This knowledge can also help you become more confident in the doctor’s office and express what your body is truly feeling and get the treatment you need. Becoming more comfortable and educated about your own reproductive system could save your life.