Premature ovarian failure (POF) is defined as the cessation of ovarian function prior to the age of 40. It is diagnosed in women under age 40 when ovarian function ceases, resulting in an end or pause in menstruation, the onset of menopausal symptoms, and a decline in the production of estrogen and eggs, resulting in infertility. The incidence is 1 out of every 1000 women.

Is premature ovarian failure the same as early menopause?

Although the symptoms are often similar and POF was once thought to be a form of premature menopause, there are many differences in the two conditions. Normal menopause occurs as a result of aging, which results in follicle depletion and the onset of menopause with related symptoms. With POF, up to 50% of patients may ovulate once in any given year and 5-10% may become pregnant, leading to a theory that there is a follicular dysfunction rather than complete ovarian failure. In addition, POF is often associated with autoimmune disease, the most common being thyroid dysfunction (i.e., Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Causes Premature Ovarian Failure

  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Genetics
  • The end of a treatment for cancer with radiation or chemotherapy
  • Hysterectomy with both ovaries removed
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Turner syndrome
  • Viral infection
  • Inadequate gondaotropin secretion or action
  • Eating Disorders

Symptoms for Premature Ovarian Failure

  • Irregular periods (different length of bleeding or change in flow)
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Decrease in sexual drive
  • Irritability
  • Painful sex
  • Thinning and drying of vagina

The treatment for POF is to replace the hormones that your body is no longer making. The name for this type of treatment is called hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. The hormones that need to be replaced are estrogen, progesterone, or both. These hormones are necessary for breast development, menstrual periods, and healthy bones.

There are many different types of HRT. HRT is available as pills, skin patches, vaginal rings, and shots. Pills are usually the easiest types of HRT for young women to take, although some women prefer using patches that are applied to the skin once or twice a week. Birth control pills are often used as an HRT because they contain both estrogen and progesterone

Fertility treatment options available for women with POF
Fertility treatment is available to help you have a baby..

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF)- with donor eggs

IVF is a procedure that involves removing another woman's egg from her ovary, fertilizing it with your partner's sperm, and putting that fertilized egg into your uterus. You would then carry and give birth to the baby. This type of fertility treatment is offered to women who have POF (premature ovarian failure) and do not make eggs. Since the success rate depends on many factors, it is important to discuss this with a fertility expert when you are ready to have children.
Before one goes for oocyte donation it is important to evaluate the uterine cavity. Normal uterine cavity is a prerequisite for success of IVF,


This is an important option for young women who have POF. There are many children who need a home and are adopted by couples who can't have their own children.

For Vitro Fertilization Pricing Options. Click here

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Dr. Patil’s Fertility and Endoscopy Clinic

Center for Assisted Reproductive Technology, Endoscopic Surgery and Andrology

No 1, Uma Admirality, First Floor, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore - 560029
Ph: 080 - 41201357, 41462419 Mobile: 9945221622

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