What is Premature Ovarian Failure?
- Posted on: Oct 14 2015
Premature ovarian failure also referred to as “primary ovarian insufficiency” occurs when the ovaries are unable to function properly before you hit the age of 40 years. Once the ovaries fail, they are unable to produce the correct amounts of estrogen hormone or release good quality eggs regularly. The result is difficulty getting pregnant or recurrent miscarriages.
While restoring normal estrogen levels, with hormone replacement in women suffering from premature ovarian failure helps avoid symptoms and complications such as osteoporosis, hot flashes, and vaginal atrophy; restoring the estrogen will not improve fertility.
What cause Premature Ovarian Failure?
There are several factors that may lead to ovarian failure such as:
- Chromosomal abnormalities
- Damage to the ovary(s) due to surgery or radiation treatment and chemotherapy
- Carriers of Fragile X
- Autoimmune premature ovarian failure
Premature ovarian failure may also be caused by other factors occurring before birth or on the onset of puberty.
Factors occurring before birth may be due to defects in the oocyte, ovaries, or ovarian follicle. These issues that occur before birth are due to genetic problems such as Turner’s syndrome or fragile X.
What are the Symptoms of Premature Ovarian Failure?
Signs and symptoms of this condition are almost similar to those experienced during menopause. They include:
Difficulty or irritability in concentrating
Ensure you visit your Denver fertility doctor if you have missed periods for 3 or more months to identify the major cause. There are various factors that may make you miss your periods including changes in your exercise habits or diet, stress, and pregnancy.
Factors that make you prone to premature ovarian failure include:
- Family history: You have a high risk of premature ovarian failure if your family has a history of premature ovarian failure.
- Age: Ovarian failure increases as you approach the age of between 35 and 40 years.
What are the Tests carried out to identify Premature Ovarian Failure?
Your doctor may ask you about your menstrual cycle, any signs and symptoms, and if you have a history of exposure to toxins such as radiation therapy or chemotherapy that may cause great harm to your eggs and follicles. Most women experience some few signs of ovarian failure, but your doctor is likely to carry out a physical exam such as the pelvic exam.
The doctor may also recommend you to undergo the following tests.
Prolactin test: Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk and can cause problems in your ovulation.
Follicle stimulating hormone: The FSH hormone will stimulate follicle development in your ovaries. Those who experience premature ovarian failure tend to have abnormal high levels of FSH.
Karyotype: This test evaluates if your 46 chromosomes have any signs of abnormality. Those with ovarian failure tend to have one X chromosome rather than two or might have other defects.
Estradiol test: Women with ovarian failure tend to have low levels of estradiol
Pregnancy test: This test helps to check if there is any unexpected pregnancy for those who have missed or skipped a period during their childbearing age.
FMR I gene testing (Fragile X testing): This test examines whether the X chromosomes are normal. The FMR1 gene is associated with X-syndrome that may cause to intellectual problems.
These test will give the doctor an overview of your condition and help them address your condition the best way possible.
Treatment of Premature Ovarian Failure
Treatment of this condition normally focuses on the major problems that arise from deficiency of estrogen. The doctor may recommend estrogen therapy or supplements such as calcium and vitamin D. For those that desire fertility often donor eggs are needed to achieve pregnancy.
Rocky Mountain Fertility offers comprehensive options for helping women reach their fertility goals. This includes IVF, IUI, ICSI and many other treatments. Voted a top fertility specialist in Colorado and nationwide by Healthtap and Vitals.com, call (303) 999-3877 today!
Posted in: Infertility Treatment