If the blood-clot, which is generally found contained within the ruptured ovisac, be of considerable size, its surface will frequently exhibit little furrows, more or less deep, cor responding with the convolutions of the ovisac, by contact. with which they have been im pressed. This clot becomes adherent to the walls of the ovisac ; assumes by degrees a pale rose hue ; and gradually diminishing by absorption and contraction, it constitutes a centre, towards which the rays of the convolu tions from all sides are directed.
But if there be no considerable clot in the centre of the follicle, then its closure proceeds more rapidly. The angles of the convolutions approach each other more nearly, but there still remains a space in the centre which may be empty, or contains only the debris of old coagula.
Lastly, if the cavity is empty, the retracti lity of its outer coat soon effects its closure. The angles of the convolutions, now com pressed one against the other, come into contact across the cavity, and end by adhering together, and so the cavity is obliterated.
If, during the progress of these changes within the follicle, the external surface of the ovary be examined about the seat of rupture, it will be found that the parts in the imme diate neighbourhood of the laceration become paler, that the blood gradually deserts the ves sels, which were before highly congested, in this situation; and that, as cicatrisation ad vances, the zone becomes less and less dis tinct, disappearing, finally,about the time when the last traces of the laceration are effaced.
These changes in the ovarian follicle after rupture exhibit certain differences among the Mammalia, in some of whom, for example, there may be seen to project from the aperture a fleshy mass, sometimes occasioned by the presence of a coagulum, but more constantly by an exuberant growth of the lining mem brane of the follicle, which for some time protrudes through the orifice, and may often, at this stage, be drawn out entire by the for ceps, without difficulty. Its colour is not alike in all the Marnmalia. In the sow, it resembles the liver of a calf; in the cow and sheep, it is of a brick-red.
In Man, the follicle has generally shrunk to very small dimensions by the time that one or more of tile next series, which is preparing for development, have reached and protruded from the surface. The cavity by this time is
nearly effaced. The chrome-yellow colour of the walls has also disappeared, and the ovisac has gradually become white. Its appearance upon section at this time is very striking and characteristic. In the centre (fig. 372. h) is still perceptible a small space, which might contain the head of a pin. It is surrounded by a white irregular circle, from which pro ceed outwardly about a dozen little rays. The circle is formed by the united inner angles of the follicular convolutions. The rays consist each of a double la.er of the folded membrane. The apices of the rays are the original outer angles of the serpentine folds or convolutions of the ovisac. The outer coat of the Graafian follicle can now no longer be seen. At this time, the remnant of the shrunken vesicle measures about le' diam.
Finally, whilst the foregoing changes are proceeding internally, a corresponding altera tion takes place at the surface of the ovary.
The closure of the aperture, by cohesion of its opposite sides, occasions a drawing to gether of the surrounding parts, and the ac companying collapse of the follicles causes the part of the ovarian surface in this situation to sink inwards. The depression thus caused is increased by the continued shrivelling of the follicle, and by its retiring inwards to wards the centre of the ovary. This latter change is occasioned not so much by any ac tivity on the part of the now empty follicle as by the approach of new and rising ones to the surface, by which the empty and useless ovisacs are now pressed aside.
By these successive retirings of the follicles after bursting, and by the cicatrisation of their apertures, the ovarian surface becomes gra dually indented in all directions so as to ex hibit those pits and furrows which are always seen upon the ovary in advanced life (fig. 390.) ; and these, occurring in women under every circumstance alike, afford one of the most convincing proofs that this discharge of ova from the ovary may and does occur independ ently of sexual congress.
Finally, the stellate remains of the follicle continue to decrease, and become gradually buried in the ovarian stroma, until they are entirely obliterated, thus giving place to other vesicles which pass through the same stages of growth and decadence.