The ovaries develop from the same fetal tissue that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity. The size of the ovaries varies through the life cycle. Normally, as a woman develops from birth through puberty, the ovaries grow larger. The average size reaches a plateau at adulthood and then decreases in the postmenopausal period. The size of the ovaries after menopause depends on the number of years after menopause and the number of prior pregnancies. Ovaries also vary in size during the course of the menstrual cycle.
The ovaries are pinkish gray in color, almond-shaped, and are present on either side of the uterus in a region called the ovarian fossa. Each ovary is close to the open, fringed end of the fallopian tube leading to the uterus. The ovaries change in size, shape and position many times during a woman's childbearing years. The size of the ovary in the premenopausal woman is 3.5 cm long by 2.0 cm wide by 1.0 cm thick or about the size of a walnut. There are, of course, considerable individual variations, and normal ovaries up to 5 cm are not uncommon. This is the size of a golf ball. Postmenopausal women and prepubescent girls usually have "tiny" ovaries. A number of normal older women have ovaries no bigger than a dime. At birth, each ovary contains about 200,000 eggs each enclosed in a single layer of cells. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have unlike the testes where there is continuous production of sperm after puberty. The ovaries produce hormones needed for growth and development and the eggs needed for reproduction. The ovaries respond to hormones from the brain called the gonadotropins in addition to producing their own hormones - estrogen, progesterone.
After the onset of menstruation the ovaries begin to go through a series of events that leads to a change in their appearance. Gradually, the surface of the ovary becomes pitted and irregular, evidence of many ovulations and subsequent healings. After the menopause, the monthly formation of follicles and ovulation ceases. The ovaries then decrease in size to that of an almond and become a pale white.
There are a number of gynecologic conditions that can affect the size of the ovaries. These include cysts, cancer, scar tissue etc. Pain might originate from the uterus (womb), Fallopian tubes or ovaries. It is usually felt in the middle of the lower abdomen, above the line of pubic hair as far up as the navel. Occasionally, the pain is more to one side, which is more typical of a pain coming from an ovary.
Ovaries need to be maintained in good condition especially during the childbearing age. A holistic medicine practitioner will guide you in this aspect. Holistic medicine will also promote good health which will be beneficial to the baby too.