Author: Ed Uthman
License: CC BY 2.0
Human Ovary with Fully Developed Corpus Luteum
This normal ovary was removed in the course of a hysterectomy for uterine disease. The bright yellow corpus luteum is fully developed, as it would be in the mid-luteal phase of the menstrual cycle following ovulation. The corpus luteum produces progesterone, which supports the endometrium’s ability to accommodate the implanted conceptus. If a conceptus implants, the corpus luteum grows even bigger, to form the so-called “corpus luteum of pregnancy.” If no pregnancy occurs, the corpus luteum shrinks dramatically to become a corpus albicans. This ovary also sports several corpora albicantia from previous months’ cycles, one of which is marked.