Birth Definitions

Follicle Definition


A follicle is a small, sac-like structure that contains an egg. It provides a safe environment for the egg to develop in. The egg develops and matures inside the follicle until it is released during ovulation.

The follicle itself is located within the ovary, and when an egg is mature, the follicle ruptures and releases the egg into the fallopian tube. From there, it makes its way down to the uterus where implantation and pregnancy can occur.

Follicles are also present in other parts of the body, such as the skin, where they help to produce hair.

Disadvantages of follicles include the fact that they can sometimes become cancerous tumors (termed “follicular neoplasms”). Additionally, if a follicle does not release an egg during ovulation, it can become a cyst. Cysts can be painful and may require medical treatment.

Disambiguation Details

When discussing follicles, it is important to note that there is some confusion about terminology. For instance, “follicle” is sometimes used interchangeably with “ovarian cyst.” However, these two terms are not synonymous. A cyst is a fluid-filled sac, while a follicle is a sac-like structure that contains an egg. Additionally, “follicle” can also refer to a small hair-bearing unit in the skin. Therefore, when using this term, be sure to specify which meaning you are using.

This image shows how often the term ‘Follicle’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

Other Related Terms

Some terms that are closely associated with “follicle” include the following:

  • Ovulation
  • Fallopian tube
  • Uterus

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