The ovaries are two small glands, located on either side of a woman's uterus, that are part of the female reproductive system. The ovaries produce female sex hormones and store and release eggs (ova), which can develop into embryos if fertilized by a male's sperm.
The female sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) help control the menstrual cycle, breast development, and other functions. Approximately once a month, about 2 weeks before a woman's next period is due, one of her ovaries releases an egg (ovulation).
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.