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Chapter 3 - The Ovarian Reserve

Predicting the Menopause

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 June 2020

Nicholas Panay
Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital, London
Paula Briggs
Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust
Gabor T. Kovacs
Monash University, Victoria
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The essential cause of the existence of the menopause is that the ovary contains a finite number of follicles: these are progressively lost with time until insufficient remain to support menstrual cyclicity. Ovarian follicles are both the source of the female gamete, and the key site of reproductive hormone production. Depletion of follicle numbers therefore results in both loss of fertility and gonadal estrogen production, and thus differs substantially from the situation in the male where the two functions of the gonad are anatomically and functionally more independent, and loss of one does not necessitate loss of the other.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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