What is POF?
Another known name of Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). The name has come to it because the ovarian functions stop working prematurely i.e. before the age of 40. When your ovaries stop functioning, they cease producing the customary amount of the estrogen hormone or releasing eggs on a regular basis. Infertility is, thus, the resultant condition.
Right from the teenage or the age of puberty, Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) can affect women even in their thirties. Women having POF/POI run a higher risk of a variety of related health issues that include:
- Osteoporosis (It is relevant and worth reading how to reverse or prevent osteoporosis,
- Heart-related diseases
- Estrogen deficiency and the resultant health issues such as:
These health issues relating to POF/POI can be well tackled by replacement of hormones. But in the context of infertility, POF poses a great challenge. The failure of ovarian functioning means that the chances of achieving pregnancy with your own eggs get highly reduced.
The POF/POI condition is, sometimes, known as premature menopause, although the two conditions have different implications. Women having premature ovarian failure may experience irregular or even occasional menstruation for years. They may even achieve a pregnancy. But women with premature menopause neither ovulate or nor experience periods and, thus, they cannot get pregnant.
Signs and symptoms
- Skipped or irregular menstrual cycle called amenorrhea. This may be present for years or may get developed after a pregnancy or after ceasing use of birth control pills.
- Estrogen hormone deficiency and the resultant health issues such as:
- Hot flashes
- Dryness in Vulva
When to see a doctor
In case you happen to skip your periods for three months or more, you are advised to see your doctor to help you know what could be the possible cause. There are a number of reasons for missing your periods, like:
If your menstrual cycle changes for any reason, it is advised to get this evaluated.
Even if missing your menstrual cycle does not bother you, you are advised to consult your doctor to know its cause(s). The estrogen hormone deficiency may cause you your bone loss.