From Embryology

Oocytenumber.jpg(575 × 419 pixels, file size: 41 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg)

Human Ovary oocyte number from embryo to adult

The graph shows the changes in human germ cell numbers in the ovary with age, peaking at about 7 million (occuring in early fetal development) and then decreasing by apopotic cell death. At puberty there remain only about 400,000 and only about 10% of these will be released through reproductive life. Based on data from[1]

A recent study (2010)[2] based on analysis of a number of earlier histological study data, suggest that the above graphed total figures maybe an overestimate and much lower initially (about 2.5 million) than suggested in this simple graph, see Non-growing follicle model.


  1. <pubmed>8908177</pubmed>
  2. <pubmed>20111701</pubmed>

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current11:26, 28 July 2009Thumbnail for version as of 11:26, 28 July 2009575 × 419 (41 KB)MarkHill (talk | contribs)Human Ovary oocyte number from embryo to adult Graph based on data from: Hassold, etal., Environ Mol Mutagen 1996. 28: 167-175