The mass of cells formed in the ruptured Graaﬁan follicle in the ovary (see OVARIES) from which the ovum is discharged about 15 days before the onset of the next menstrual period (see MENSTRUATION). When the ovum escapes, the follicle ﬁlls up with blood; this is soon replaced by cells which contain a yellow fatty material. The follicle and its luteal cells constitute the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum begins to disappear after ten days, unless the discharged ovum is fertilised and pregnancy ensues. In pregnancy the corpus luteum persists and grows and secretes the hormone, PROGESTERONE.
Article Categories:Medical Dictionary