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The ovaries produce the eggs which when fertilised by a sperm lead to pregnancy. They also produce the female reproductive hormones oestrogen and progesterone. Ovary size does matter when it comes to the ease of getting pregnant. Smaller ovaries means a woman’s egg reserve is lower than normal. However, having larger ovaries does not mean that the woman’s egg reserve is high. Ovaries can change in size due to various factors such as disorders, age etc
Factors that Cause a Change in the Size of Ovaries
Ovarian size can change several times in a woman’s life for different reasons. Here are the various factors that can cause a change in the size of ovaries:
Ovarian size can change with age. The ovaries are larger during puberty and the pre-menopausal period of a woman’s life. Ovarian size is the smallest after menopause and before a woman reaches puberty. Average-sized ovaries measure 3cm in length, 2.5cm in height and 1.5cm in width. Before puberty or after menopause, they measure less than 20mm in diameter. Ovaries also become much larger when a woman is ovulating or menstruating.
2. Ovarian Disorders
Ovarian disorders and cancer can cause an increase in the size of the ovaries. Conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), follicular cysts, corpus luteum cysts cause the ovaries to become enlarged resulting in pain and even internal bleeding. These disorders make it problematic for women to get pregnant.
3. Hormonal Stimulation
Women who have been diagnosed with infertility often undergo fertility treatments to get pregnant. A part of these treatments involve hormonal injections to stimulate the ovaries so that they cause the eggs to ripen and get released for fertilisation. These treatments can cause the ovaries to become larger during ovulation and go back to normal size once the ovulation phase is over.
Ovarian size increases during pregnancy as the ovaries produce the pregnancy hormones oestrogen and progesterone. However, it is prudent to have your doctor check and ensure that you do not have cysts or fibroids.
Is Ovary Size Related to How Easy or Difficult it is to Conceive?
Ovarian size is related to a woman’s ability to conceive easily. The number of potential eggs that are ready during a woman’s fertile period depends on the ovarian size. Hence, if the ovaries are smaller in size, a woman may have difficulty conceiving as her egg reserve is lower than average. There are tests such as ultrasound scans and blood tests that can determine the size of the ovaries and assess whether they are functioning properly. Technicians can count the number of follicles an ovary has using ultrasound scans. The number of follicles can indicate whether a woman’s egg reserve is normal or low.
Does Having Large Ovaries Mean Greater Ability to Reproduce?
Having larger ovaries do not automatically mean the egg reserve is higher. Ovaries can also be enlarged due to disorders or tumours. In these cases, women will not ovulate normally and will hence find it difficult to conceive. In women who have polycystic ovaries, their ovaries can enlarge to more than 15cm in diameter.
Thus, enlarged ovaries are often an indicator of a hormonal disorder, cysts or tumours. Talk to your doctor to check your ovaries for any such problems if you have difficulty conceiving.
What is Normal Size of Ovaries to Get Pregnant?
The right ovary size for pregnancyis 3cm x 2.5cm x 1.5cm (length x height x width). This is the size of a normal and healthy adult ovary. An ovary of this size will have sufficient egg reserve and a healthy woman with normal ovaries will be able to conceive without difficulty. The ovary egg size for pregnancy also matters in women who are trying to conceive. The egg should be precisely the right size in order to be fertile. If the egg shrinks, it will not develop properly.
Size of the ovaries does affect your ability to get pregnant easily. However, you can boost your ovarian and egg health by eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy body weight, and by remaining stress-free.
Also Read: Premature Ovarian Failure