If the ovary is not adequate, or if it is absent following surgical removal, an insufficient secretion of the female sex hormones occurs. Absence of such hormones is associated with a disappearance of the usual mentrual flow. Development of the body is complete and the characteristics of women which are peculiar to the sex disappear.
As with a deficiency of the male sex hormone, absence of ovarian secretion results in overgrowth of the long bones, which fail to close their points of growth during adolescence; An insufficiency of ovarian secretion may lead to failure of the sexual organs to develop, so that they appear infantile in type. Associated is a lack of development of the breast and a lack of the usual growth of hair under the arms and around the sex organs.
If there is an adequate amount of female sex hormone up to the time of puberty and a failure to secrete thereafter, the symptoms are different, because the child will have achieved rather full growth by the time it comes to adolescence.
Fortunately, substitutes for the usual hormones have been found. These can be prescribed by the doctor in amounts as needed, and thus cause a return to normal conditions.
As with the male sex hormone, the function of the ovary is dependent on hormones that come from the pituitary or master gland in the brain. Failure of the pituitary gland to send its hormones will result in failure of the ovary to develop normally. With this comes lack of menstruation, lack of development of the breasts and delay in appearance of the other secondary female characteristics.