File:Human ovary follicle development.jpg

From Embryology

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Human Ovary Follicle Development

The development of a primordial follicle to a preovulatory follicle takes in excess of 120 days. After it has become a preantral follicle of about 0.2 mm diameter it takes about 65 days to develop into a preovulatory follicle. Cohorts of follicles continually develop but only one is ‘selected’ and becomes the dominant follicle. All others undergo atresia.


  • primordial follicle - (small follicle or type 1, 2, 3 (25 cells)) The structure present in the ovary from birth, located in the stroma of the ovary cortex beneath the tunica albuginea. The earliest structure in the sequence of primordial follicle, preantral follicle, antral follicle development within the ovary.
  • primary follicle - (preantral follicle or type 4 (26-100 cells)) characterised by the development of enlarged (cuboidal) layer of granulosa cells around the oocyte.
  • secondary follicle - (preantral follicle or type 5 (101-300 cells))
  • tertiary follicle- (antral follicle, small and large antral follicle or type 6 (3001-500 cells), type 7 (501-1000 cells))
  • preovulatory follicle - (Graafian follicle or type 8 (>1000 cells)) In the female ovary, the most mature and gonadotropin sensitive developing follicle that will be released at ovulation. In humans, there is only a single follicle every cycle that has been developing over a number of menstrual cycles, other follicles degenerate by the process called atresia.


Links: Ovary Development | Oocyte Development

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, June 21) Embryology Human ovary follicle development.jpg. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/File:Human_ovary_follicle_development.jpg

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G

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current16:36, 12 April 2010Thumbnail for version as of 16:36, 12 April 2010700 × 418 (50 KB)S8600021 (talk | contribs)Human ovary follicle development The development of a primordial follicle to a preovulatory follicle takes in excess of 120 days. After it has become a preantral follicle of about 0.2 mm diameter it takes about 65 days to develop into a preovulatory foll