Corpus Albicans

Definition - What does Corpus Albicans mean?

A corpus albicans is a mass of white scar tissue in the ovary that is formed after the degeneration of the corpus luteum if an egg is not fertilized and implanted in the uterus. Its presence can indicate failed fertilization and/or implantation and can be useful for an evaluation of infertility.

A corpus albicans is also called the corpus candicans and the white body.

FertilitySmarts explains Corpus Albicans

After an egg is released from the ovary, the cells in the ovarian follicle that were surrounding the egg turn into a structure called the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum is essential to establishing and maintaining a pregnancy because it produces hormones, mainly progesterone, that helps to keep the reproductive system prepared for the implantation of a fertilized egg. If an egg is fertilized, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) that is produced by an embryo that has successfully implanted prevents the corpus luteum from degenerating.

If fertilization does not occur, at around 10 days after the release of the egg the absence of hCG feedback causes the corpus luteum to shrink and degrade. White blood cells kill the hormone-producing cells and deposit fibrous tissue that transforms the corpus luteum into a white colored structure called the corpus albicans.

The corpus albicans remains in the ovary for a few months before it completely dissolves and disappears during which it can be seen on an ultrasound scan as small scar tissue. If the corpus albicans is visualized in the ovary without a prominent corpus luteum, it can be an indication of failed fertilization and/or implantation.

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