The production of mature oocytes involves a complex interaction between the oocyte and somatic cells which together control survival and growth of ovarian follicles. We have identified several endocrine and paracrine signalling networks in the follicle with dual roles in promoting oocyte developmental potential and ovulation demonstrating how these processes are coordinated. The LH surge initiates both meiotic resumption and ovulation through integrated intrafollicular pathways including the nuclear progesterone receptor and EGF networks leading to coordinated oocyte maturation and ovulation. This results in rapid production of the cumulus matrix and structural remodelling of the ovarian follicle. During these final maturation oocytes are uniquely sensitive to stresses such as caused by nutritional imbalance, reactive oxygen species etc with serious impacts for oocyte quality and development of offspring. We have identified new forms of non-coding RNAs that interface with endocrine signalling as well as the cell stress and mitigation response in ovarian somatic cells and oocytes.