Size and location of the fetal human ovary

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Sulak O., Malas M., Esen K., Cetın E., Tagıl S.

FETAL DIAGNOSIS AND THERAPY, vol.21, no.1, pp.26-33, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1159/000089044
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.26-33
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: To determine the development and the localization of the ovaries during the fetal period. Material and Methods: One hundred and fifty-four ovaries obtained from 77 human fetuses aged between 9 and 40 weeks of gestation were used in this study. Firstly, the shapes and the positions of the ovaries were established. Second, the localization of the ovaries with respect to linea terminalis, ureters, and the iliac arteries were determined. Finally, the dimensions and the weight of the ovaries were measured. Findings: In the fetal period, the ovaries were most commonly almond shaped and had an oblique orientation. In the 1st trimester the midpoint of the long axis of the fetal ovaries were at the level of linea terminalis. In the 2nd and 3rd trimester and fullterm fetuses, it was observed that the ovaries were not in ovarian fossa, suggesting that descensus ovary was in progression during these times. During the intrauterine period, the ovaries were most commonly located anterior to the ureters and over the common iliac artery, only to migrate to its final location between the internal and external iliac arteries towards the end of the 40th week. Conclusion: We found that the ovaries did not sume the position of the adults at the end of the fetal period, rather continued its descent after the birth. We believe our findings about the fetal ovaries will be useful in obstetrics, fetal pathology, and forensic pathology. Copyright (c) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.