Ovary size: How important is the size of ovaries for pregnancy?
- Published on April 26, 2022
There are quite frankly a hundred things that you need to take care of while trying for a baby. Couples who are trying to conceive maintain a checklist to increase their chances. It is to be noted that the said checklist goes beyond mapping your basal body temperature and checking for other signs of ovulation. Another important factor to note and track is the ovary size. Besides the health of the ovaries, their size determines your fertility health and chances of getting pregnant.
But what is the normal ovary size in cm and how do we know our own ovary size?
In this article, with insights from Dr. Shilpa Singhal, we will explore the normal range of ovary size and what significance it holds.
The Importance of Ovary Size
The female reproductive system is made of several organs including the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and ovary. There are two ovaries located on either side of the uterus. The ovaries are small glands in an oval shape responsible for the production and release of eggs (also known as oocytes). They also produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
These functions are important for a woman’s reproductive health to function properly in order for her to be fertile.
The ovaries begin their development in-utero when the embryos are nearly 8 weeks old. Like any other organs of your body, your ovaries undergo several changes throughout the course of life.
At the time of birth, two ovaries are present each 1 cm in diameter and weighing nearly 250-350 mg. New eggs are not generated in the ovaries.
Factors affecting the ovary size for pregnancy
There are a variety of factors that affect ovary size. The size and shape of your ovaries may change over time due to health conditions or aging.
Common factors impacting ovary size include:
Advanced age – The ovaries are naturally small at the time of birth. They increase in size before puberty and attend maximum size during pregnancy. Overtime, usually after the age of 35 years, the size of the ovary begins to decrease. By the time of menopause, the size reaches less than 2 cm.
Ovarian disorders – Certain ovarian disorders such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can impact the size of the ovary. The abnormal growths (cysts) lead to an enlarged size of the ovary.
Hormonal changes – Your ovaries are responsible for the production and release of your reproductive hormones including estrogen and progesterone. Certain hormonal changes and imbalances can affect the ovary size usually making them enlarged.
How is the size of ovaries determined?
If you are struggling with conception, your healthcare provider will try to determine your ovary size to figure out the cause. He/she may order certain laboratory tests and procedures to visualise and analyse the health, quality and quantity of the ovaries.
Common tests done to determine the size of ovaries include:
- Blood tests
- Ultrasonography (USG)
How does ovary size affect the chances of pregnancy? Irregular ovary size (small or larger than normal) can hinder your chances of conception.
Small ovaries can make it difficult for women to conceive as it can impact follicular development, thereby, affecting the process of ovulation.
On the other hand, enlarged ovaries may also impact your chances of conception. It is because the large size of the ovaries does not imply a higher number of ovarian follicles. The enlarged size of ovaries usually occurs due to hormonal disorders and cystic tumors. Your ovaries can become as large as 15 cm in size.
It is important to attain a normal size of the ovary for pregnancy. According to experts, the right ovarian size is 3cm x 2.5cm x 1.5cm.
How to improve the health and size of ovaries?
While you may not have control over your hormones or disorders, there are certain measures you can take to improve the health of your ovaries, thereby, attaining a healthy size.
Here’s what you can do:
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Exercise regularly
- Manage stress
- Eat a nutrient-dense meal
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Avoid smoking
Ovarian size for pregnancy is as essential as other parameters for a healthy pregnancy. The overall health, quality and quantity of the eggs are determined by several factors including ovarian size.
To know the size of your ovaries for a healthy pregnancy, consult our fertility experts.
Which ovary is best for pregnancy?
While both your ovaries can support and lead to healthy pregnancy, research has suggested that ovulation that occurs from the ovary on the right side is more suitable.
Can I get pregnant with my left ovary?
Yes, it is totally possible to achieve a healthy pregnancy by ovulation from the left ovary.
Which ovary produces more eggs?
It has been seen that the fertility potential of egg production from right ovary is more than the left ovary.
Does ovary size increase during pregnancy?
Yes, the size of your ovaries extend and increase during pregnancy as a result of hormone production.
Dr Shilpa Singhal
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