Premature Ovarian Failure and its symptoms

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.

If estrogen hormones levels are restored in women fighting premature ovarian failure, some of the complications can be prevented. But the infertility is harder to be treated.

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:

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

Premature Ovarian Failure symptoms are quite similar to those experienced by a woman upon reaching menopause, like deficiency of estrogen hormone. They include:

  • 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
  • Night sweats
  • Irritable temper
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Reduced sexual desire/loss of libido

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.

Premature Ovarian Failure Causes

Premature Ovarian Failure Risk Factors & Complications

Premature Ovarian Failure Diagnosis and Tests

Premature Ovarian Failure Treatment and Drugs

Lifestyle and Home Remedies for Premature Ovarian Failure

Coping with Premature Ovarian Failure

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