Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 5; Issue 2.3 (June 2017)

Page No.: 4006-4011

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijar.2017.241


Mergu Prasad 1, Satya Prasad Venugopal *2, Rameswarapu Suman Babu 3.

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

*2 Professor, Department of Anatomy, Maheshwara Medical College, Patancheru, Telangana, India.

3 Professor, Department of Anatomy, Narayana Medical College, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India.

*Corresponding Author:  Dr. Satya Prasad. V.  PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy, Maheshwara Medical College, Patancheru, Sangareddy District,  Telangana, India. Mobile: +91 9703858323. E-Mail: satyaprasad33@yahoo.co.in


Background: The fetal life is a critical period in female fertility in which the germ cells complete proliferation, initiate meiosis and eventually form the life time reserve of primordial follicles. The age associated alteration in the ovaries being development, differentiation, follicular growth and stroma are indicators of reproductive capability. The present study was planned to study the gross and histological structure of human fetal ovary at different weeks of gestation.

Materials and Methods: A total of twenty six human female fetuses of different age from 18th to 36th gestational week were used for the present study. The fetuses were dissected and the ovaries were removed along with the uterus. The ovaries separated from uterus, weighed, the length and breadth of the ovaries were measured with graph paper. The ovaries were processed for histological studies by fixing, embedding, section cutting, staining by standard methods. The ovarian sections were observed for lining epithelium, ovagirous cords, cortico-medullary differentiation and different stages of follicles by observing their structural architecture.

Results: At the 18th week of gestation the microscopic structure of fetal ovary showed capsule, numerous ovigerous cords and oogonia. At the 20th week of gestation presence of primordial follicles were observed. At the 24th week of gestation cortico-medullary differentiation was started. At the 26th week of gestation primary follicles were clearly seen and the cortico-medullary differentiation was visible. At the 28th week of gestation many primordial and primary follicles were seen near cortico-medullary junction. At the 30th week of gestation cortico-medullary differentiation was clearly visible. At the 32nd week of gestation the multilayered (secondary) follicles started appearing. At the 34th week of gestation the antral follicles started appearing. At the 36th week of gestation few pre-antral and 1 to 2 antral follicles were found at cortico-medullary junction.

Conclusion: The present study concludes the presence of capsule at 18th week, primordial folliclesat 20th week, at 26th week primary follicles, at 32nd week secondary follicles and at 34th week antral follicles.

KEY WORDS: Fetal ovary, histology, ovarian follicles.


  1. Anderson RA, McIlwain L, Coutts S, Kinnell HL, Fowler PA, and Childs AJ. Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor by a component of cigarette smoke reduces germ cell proliferation in the human fetal Mol Hum Reprod 2014; 20(1):42-48.
  2. Selmo G, Rodrigo M, Fabiene V, Ana MAL, Antonio CVC., Variation in ovarian follicle density during human fetal development. J Assist Reprod Genet 2012; 29:969-972.
  3. Usha RV, Subhadra DV. Histological observations in human ovaries from embryonic to menopausal age. Int J Anat Res 2016; 4(4):3203-3208.
  4. Sforza C, Vizzotto L, Ferrario VF, Forabosco A. Position of follicles in normal human ovary during definitive histogenesis. Early Human Development 2003;74:27-35.
  5. Cole B, Hensinger K, Maciel GAR, Chang RF, Erickson GF. Human Fetal Ovary Development Involves the Spatiotemporal Expression of             P450c17 Protein. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, September 2006,             91(9):3654-3661.
  6. Ghazanfar Kh, Dar SA, Nazir T, Masood IAA, Akbar S. Safety evaluation of polyherbal Unani formulation-Deedan in Wistar rats. J             App Pharm Sci 215; 5: 089-093.
  7. Drury RAB, Willington EA. In: Carleton’s Histological Techniques.1980, 5th ed., Oxford Univ Press.
  8. Forabosco A, Sofrza C, De pol A, Vizzotto L, Marzona L, Ferrario VF. Morphometric study of the human neonatal ovary. The Anatomical Record 1991; 231(2):201-208.
  9. Valdes-Dapena MA. Genitalia – An atlas of fetal and neonatal histology. Piladelphia, J B Lippincott Company; 1957:120-127.
  10. Konish I, Fujii S, Okamura H, Parmleyt TIM, Mori T. Development of interstistial cells and ovaigerous cords in human fetal ovary: an ultrastructural study. J Anat 1986; 148:121-35.
  11. Nicosia SV. Morphological changes of the human ovary throughout life. In: The Ovary. G.B.Serra, ed. Raven Press, New York; 1983:57-81.
  12. Baker TG, Scrimgeour JB. Development of the gonad in normal and anencephalic human fetuses. J reprod Ferti 1980; 60:193-199.
  13. Baker TG. Oogénesis and ovarian development. In Reproductive Biology, chapter 7. Eds H Balin & SR Glasser. Excerpta Medica,      Amsterdam; 1972:398-437.
  14. Potter E. The ovary in infancy and childhood. In The Ovary, Eds HG Grady & DE Smith. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore; 1963:11-23.
  15. Van Wagenen G, Simpson ME. Embryology of the Ovary and Testis in Homo sapiens and Macaca mulatta. Yale University Press, New Haven; 1973:88-160.

Cite this article: Mergu Prasad, Satya Prasad Venugopal, Rameswarapu Suman Babu. A GROSS AND HISTOLOGICAL STUDY OF HUMAN FOETAL OVARY AT DIFFERENT WEEKS OF GESTATION. Int J Anat Res 2017;5(2.3):4006-4011. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2017.241