Premature Ovarian Failure…What You Need to Know

 

Concerned Young Woman

 

Premature Ovarian Failure or more recently termed Premature Ovarian Insufficiency affects 1 in 100 women under the age of 40.  It presents as early menopause in these younger women, producing hot flashes, memory gaps, sleep issues, vaginal dryness and irritability.  Menstrual cycles are irregular as estrogen production is declining due to a loss of ovarian follicles that produce estrogen and progesterone during the normal menstrual cycle.

A diagnosis of POF can be made with a blood test that will tell if the ovaries are producing estrogen and whether the pituitary gland is producing the hormones FSH and LH.  These hormones stimulate the ovarian follicles and if they are elevated and estrogen is low then a diagnosis of Premature Ovarian Insufficiency can be made.

Causes are varied and range from chromosomal and congenital to autoimmune to chemical and disease related.  Treatments also depend on the severity of the condition and if some ovarian function is still present.   Ten percent of these women will conceive on their own and yet others will need donor eggs to achieve pregnancy.  Estrogen therapy is needed to treat some of the symptoms.

 

To read more look under the Young Women category on this website.

Also search International Premature Ovarian Failure Association and Rachel’s Well.

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