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Is Ovary Size Really Significant When It Comes to Pregnancy?

| 17 Jun 2023 | 1545 Views |

There’s a hot debate stirring in the realm of fertility and reproduction: Is ovary size important to get pregnant? This burning question has been on the minds of countless women and couples trying to conceive. We, at India IVF Fertility, with our locations in Delhi, Noida, and Gurgaon, are here to shed some light on this complex and intricate issue.

Understanding the Role of Ovaries in Fertility

For starters, let’s dive into a mini refresher on the reproductive system. The ovaries are almond-sized organs nestled within the pelvic region of females. They’re entrusted with the production of eggs (ova), the female sex cells necessary for reproduction. Each month, during the menstrual cycle, an egg is released from the ovary in a process known as ovulation.

Anatomy of the Ovary

Though small in size, ovaries are packed with follicles—tiny, fluid-filled sacs harboring immature eggs. It’s estimated that women are born with approximately 1-2 million follicles. However, not all these follicles will mature into viable eggs.

Factors Influencing Ovarian Function and Fertility

There’s more to fertility than just the physical size of the ovaries. A myriad of factors come into play:

Age: As women age, the quantity and quality of eggs diminish, affecting fertility.

Age Group Average Ovarian Size (cm³) Average No. of Antral Follicles
< 20 7.7 15-20
20-30 7.3 12-18
30-40 6.8 8-15
> 40 6.3 < 7

Please note that these are average values and individual results can vary widely. Factors such as overall health, lifestyle, and individual genetics can significantly affect these parameters.

Also, the number of antral follicles is often used as an indicator of a woman’s ovarian reserve or the number of eggs she has left for future use. As women age, their ovarian reserve naturally decreases, which is reflected in the decreasing average number of antral follicles in the table above.

Hormonal balance: Normal hormonal levels are crucial for the maturation and release of healthy eggs.

Ovarian Size (cm³) Typical Age Group Associated Conditions
< 5 Premature Ovarian Insufficiency1, Turner Syndrome
5-8 Any Healthy, Normal Range
30-40 6.8 8-15
> 8 Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Ovarian Cysts, Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Please note that these sizes are general guidelines and the actual size can vary based on individual genetics and overall health. Also, abnormal ovarian sizes can indicate certain conditions, but a comprehensive diagnosis always involves considering other symptoms and factors.

Ovarian health: Conditions like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis can impact ovulation and fertility.

typical range of ovarian sizes and conditions that might be associated with abnormally low or high sizes:

How Ovarian Size and Health Impacts Fertility

The size of the ovary can reflect its ability to produce eggs. Certain conditions, like PCOS, can lead to enlarged ovaries filled with many small cysts, which can disrupt normal ovulation and lead to infertility. Conversely, smaller ovaries may indicate diminished ovarian reserve (lower egg quantity), which can also impact fertility.

Common Misconceptions About Ovary Size

A common myth is that larger ovaries equal better fertility. However, this is not necessarily the case. Ovarian health and function, not size, play a pivotal role in fertility.


Is ovary size important to get pregnant? can be a bit of a conundrum. The key takeaway is that while ovary size can provide some insights into fertility, it’s the overall ovarian function and health that truly matter. Remember, every woman’s fertility journey is unique, and India IVF Fertility is here to guide you every step of the way.

FAQs on Ovary Size and Fertility

While the size can indicate certain aspects of ovarian health, it is not the sole determinant of fertility.

Yes, ovary size can vary throughout a woman's life due to hormonal fluctuations and certain health conditions.

Not necessarily. While larger ovaries might indicate a greater number of follicles, it doesn't guarantee better fertility.

Absolutely. As long as the ovaries are producing and releasing healthy eggs, the size doesn't matter.

While ovary size can indicate the number of available eggs for extraction, the success of IVF largely depends on the quality of the eggs and embryos, not the size of the ovaries.

Yes, a healthy lifestyle can support overall reproductive health, though it may not specifically change ovary size.

Typically, ovary size is determined by genetics and can't be significantly increased.

Yes, small ovaries can still produce and release healthy eggs necessary for conception.

The size of the ovaries is typically assessed using imaging techniques, primarily ultrasound. An ultrasound probe is either placed on the abdomen or inserted into the vagina (transvaginal ultrasound) to capture images of the ovaries.

With the onset of menopause, the ovaries often decrease in size. This is due to the cessation of follicular activity and a decrease in the levels of reproductive hormones.

About The Author
Dr. Richika Sahay

MBBS (Gold Medalist), DNB (Obst & Gyne), MNAMS, MRCOG (London-UK), Fellow IVF, Fellow MAS, Infertility (IVF) Specialist & Gynae Laparoscopic surgeon,[Ex AIIMS & Sir Gangaram Hospital, New Delhi]. Read more

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