Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) is the early depletion of ovarian follicles before the age of 40. POF is also known as Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development approximately 250,000 women under the age of 40 in the United States have POF. The problem can present at varying ages depending on the number of follicles left in the ovaries. The etiology of POF is unknown in most cases. The problem is associated with high levels of gonadotropins and low levels of estrogen and the cessation of menses. But, it is not uncommon for those with POF to get occasional periods.
¢ Absent or irregular periods
¢ Hot flashes
¢ Night sweats
¢ Decreased interest in sex
Hormone replacement therapy can help relieve some of the symptoms of POF. There is no treatment that will restore normal ovarian function. Fertility treatments may help women get pregnant with the use of donor eggs.
For more information on POF, visit the International Premature Ovarian Failure association website.