Why are polar bodies produced during oogenesis in human females?
I read that polar bodies are produced during meiosis so that the oogonium (or gamete mother cell) can be converted into a haploid female gamete or ovum by getting rid of the extra genetic material.
So, it is pretty clear that one follicle (containing one gamete mother cell) produces only one ovum.
So what is the point of producing polar bodies? Isn't it just a better mechanism over all for the meiotic devision of the oogonium to result in equal distribution of the cytoplasmic content to both daughter cells? That way, one oogonium can produce four ova, not just one. Th entire process of DNA replication during the synthesis phase (S phase) of the meiotic cell cycle seems like such a waste if 75% of the total genetic material produced is going to be expelled as polar bodies.
There is also the argument that since the ovum is non-motile and always within the female body, it need not be produced in large numbers as it is in a safe and protected environment. But, in that case, would it not be a better system is fewer follicles were produced, but each follicle divided to give four ova? This mechanism would end up producing the same amount of ova, but with lesser labour (such as DNA replication) going waste.
So, taking these arguments into consideration, what exactly is the function of the polar bodies produced?