What is a follicle?
The concept of “follicle” may not be known to everyone, so many girls are interested in what an ovarian follicle is. In short, it is an integral part of the female genital organs.
The follicle is a structural element of the female reproductive system. Externally, the follicle looks like a bubble. It is there that the egg cell matures, which is surrounded by a layer of epithelium and two layers of connective tissue.
Each follicle has its own egg, which has not yet matured to the end. Until the end she will be able to ripen only if she fertilizes. If fertilization does not occur, then the follicle does not remain without action. It performs a protective function and contributes to the maturation of the egg.
The process of follicle development is called folliculogenesis, which begins at birth and ends with the onset of menopause (cessation of ovarian function, which leads to the cessation of the menstrual cycle).
The follicles are formed in the girl already in the womb. Each child has a number of follicles individually.After birth, some follicles dissolve, as still most of them will not have time to mature during the life of a woman.
The peak of follicle development occurs during puberty (puberty of the girl (by 12-16 years old). During this period, the menstrual cycle begins and the ovaries begin to secrete the hormone estrogen.
It is worth noting that only one follicle matures per month. During fertilization, a ripe egg leaves the fallopian tubes. Further follicle maturation occurs after childbirth, and therefore the menstrual cycle stops during pregnancy (although there are exceptions).
If conception did not occur, then an immature egg cell leaves the follicle, so menstruation begins, which ends in the first stages of the maturation of a new follicle.
The most developed follicle is called dominant. It is the largest size, and it can only be noticed with an ultrasound in the middle of the menstrual cycle (for 14–16 days). The egg cell develops in it.