What causes premature ovarian failure?
Doctors have identified three main causes of POF. It is thought some cases may involve a genetic factor – either a family history of the condition or the existence of an abnormal X chromosome, a condition called Turner’s Syndrome. Some cases are thought to be caused by a condition called auto-immunity, where the body’s immune system mistakenly turns on itself and damages the ovaries. Women who undergo pelvic surgery or either chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer often also suffer POF. But in 70 per cent of cases doctors are still unable to identify the cause of the illness. What actually happens to the body during POF? In full-blown cases of premature ovarian failure the ovaries stop producing eggs, either because the eggs have died or because the body has run out of eggs. This may be caused if a woman is born with far fewer than the average 300,000 or because the body rids itself of eggs prematurely. In some cases the body has stopped responding to the hormone which stimulates the