Definition

What is premature ovarian failure?

Premature ovarian failure, known as primary ovarian insufficiency, refers to the loss normal function of your ovaries before age of 40. If your ovaries fail, they don’t produce the amounts of the hormone estrogen normal or release eggs regularly. Infertility is a common result.

How common is premature ovarian failure?

This health condition is rare. It can affect 1 in 100 women younger than 40 years old. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of premature ovarian failure?

The common symptoms of premature ovarian failure are:

  • Irregular or skipped periods (amenorrhea), which may be present for years or may develop after a pregnancy or after stopping birth control pills;
  • Hot flashes;
  • Night sweats;
  • Vaginal dryness;
  • Irritability or difficulty concentrating;
  • Decreased sexual desire.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes premature ovarian failure?

Although the exact cause of primary ovarian insufficiency may be unknown, a genetic factor or a problem with the body’s immune system may play a role in some women. In an immune system disorder, the body may attack its own tissues, in this case, the ovaries.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for premature ovarian failure?

There are many risk factors for premature ovarian failure, such as:

  • The risk of ovarian failure rises sharply between age 35 and age 40.
  • Family history. Having a family history of premature ovarian failure increases your risk of developing this disorder.

Diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is premature ovarian failure diagnosed?

Your doctor will give you a physical exam and ask you questions about your general health, your menstrual cycle, and a history of exposure to any toxins, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which cause direct injury to follicles and eggs. Your doctor may also recommend one or more of these tests: pregnancy test, FSH test, estradiol test, prolactin test, karyotype and FMR1 gene test.

How is premature ovarian failure treated?

Treatment for premature ovarian failure usually focuses on the problems that arise from estrogen deficiency. Your doctor may recommend:

  • Estrogen therapy;
  • D supplements.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage premature ovarian failure?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with premature ovarian failure:

  • Learn about alternatives for having children. If you’d like to add to your family, talk to your doctor about options such as in vitro fertilization using donor eggs or adoption.
  • Talk with your doctor about the best contraception options. A small percentage of women with premature ovarian failure do spontaneously conceive. If you don’t want to become pregnant, consider using birth control.
  • Keep your bones strong. Women who produce low levels of the hormone estrogen are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis. Work on maintaining strong bones by eating a calcium-rich, doing exercises and avoiding smoking.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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