Granulosa cells in a woman’s ovaries play a key role in the female reproductive system. These cells release estrogen, progesterone and other hormones. Granulosa cells impact follicle growth and ovulation. Ovarian cancer can affect granulosa cells. Providers often use surgery to treat it. PCOS, POI and female infertility may also be related to these cells.
Granulosa cells are a type of cell in your ovaries that produce hormones including estrogen and progesterone. Hormones released from the base of your brain (anterior pituitary) control the numbers and function of granulosa cells.
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Granulosa cells play a key role in the female reproductive system. They help you get and stay pregnant. Granulosa cells produce reproductive hormones and support ovarian follicles. These follicles are small sacs of fluid in your ovaries that contain eggs. Here’s the process:
Granulosa cells also produce other hormones and chemicals including anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH). Since levels of AMH decrease as follicle numbers decrease, AMH testing may help measure egg count. Low levels of AMH in your blood may mean that you have fewer remaining eggs (diminished ovarian reserve).
You can find granulosa cells inside a person’s ovarian follicles. Besides granulosa cells, these follicles contain:
There are two types of granulosa cells:
Conditions that affect granulosa cells include:
Conditions that may relate to granulosa cells include:
Common tests to check the health of granulosa cells include:
People who’ve had children or use birth control pills have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer. If ovarian cancer runs in your family, talk to your healthcare provider about your options.
You can also lower your risk of granulosa cell tumors and ovarian cancer by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Granulosa cells are inside your ovaries. These cells produce estrogen, progesterone and other hormones. The hormones play a large part in the female reproductive system, from menstruation to ovulation to egg implantation. Conditions related to granulosa cells include granulosa cell tumors and juvenile granulosa cell tumors. PCOS, POI and female infertility may also relate to granulosa cells. You can reduce your risk of granulosa cell disorders by living a healthy lifestyle and making regular visits to your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/18/2022.
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