With premature menopause, periods cease before the age of 40, and you are unable to become pregnant. The causes of premature menopause includes chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, certain disease, or natural.
On the other hand, women who have premature ovarian failure, or POF, still have occasional periods. While women who have POF may be able to get pregnant on their own, most are unable to get pregnant naturally, and require fertility treatments.
According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, approximately one percent of women are estimated to be affected by POF. Women who have a family member who have had POF, are at an increased risk of developing the condition themselves. The risk is highest in women between the ages of 35 and 40.
Signs of Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
Having missed periods is often the first sign of this condition women experience. Other later symptoms include:
- night sweats
- hot flashes
- moodiness or irritability
- vaginal dryness
- painful sex
- a reduced sex drive
- difficulty sleeping
- poor concentration level
There are also long term complications of POF. Because of the low estrogen levels associated with the condition, women may be more likely to develop early osteoporosis, leading to fragile, weak bones. In addition, women with POF may be more likely to experience early cardiovascular disease. Lastly, the knowledge of decreased fertility, along with low estrogen levels make some women more prone to develop depression, anxiety, or both.
Fertility clinics in New York City diagnose POF in a number of ways. First and foremost, he will ask you about the regularity of your menstrual cycles. In addition, he may recommend one or more of the following tests:
- FSH( follicle-stimulating hormone) test
- Estradiol test
- Prolactin test
- FMR1 gene testing
- LH (luteinizing hormone) test
Following a comprehensive evaluation and a POF diagnosis, treatments will include on more of the following:
- estrogen therapy / hormone replacement therapy
- calcium supplementation
- vitamin D supplementation
- weight loss or weight management
- fertility treatments (if pregnancy is desired)
To learn more about premature ovarian failure or ovarian insufficiency, please contact New York Reproductive Wellness at 516 -605-2626.