What is Premature Ovarian Failure?

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What is Premature Ovarian Failure?

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Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) is a loss of ovarian function in women under 40. Periods stop, estrogen is low and the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level is elevated. Generally, it is said that the diagnosis requires at least 4 months without a period and two FSH tests, taken at least one month apart that are greater than 40 (some doctors will use 30) mIU/ML 2. Failure seems like such an unfortunate word to use. Yes, it certainly is one of those loaded terms especially if we use the word failure to mean complete stopping of ovarian function. When we use the term “Premature Ovarian Failure,” failure means that ovarian function is not normal. The failure can be temporary or periodic and there can be residual ovarian function. Even with high FSH levels women may intermittently produce estrogen and even ovulate.

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A. POF is a loss of ovarian function in women under 40 years, when monthly periods stop and estrogen level is low, which causes menopausal symptoms . The cause for POF includes autoimmune conditions or genetics. POF can be permanent, temporary or periodic and there may be residual ovarian function. Some women with POF may intermittently produce estrogen and even ovulate spontaneously or with the help of potent fertility drugs. Doctor will guide the patient about the options for their fertility treatment.

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