Premature ovarian failure or POF, also known as premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), is an uncommon disorder in which a woman’s ovaries discontinue producing eggs constantly before 40. It could make it challenging for a woman to conceive. Since premature ovarian insufficiency and Premature Ovarian Failure are the same kinds of disease, the National Institute of Health (NIH) also prefers to utilize premature ovarian insufficiency as failure doesn’t correctly explain what happens or occurs in ovaries in women with the condition. In addition, the failure term has a negative connotation that most healthcare practitioners avoid using it.

The blog further discusses premature ovarian failure or premature ovarian insufficiency and its causes, symptoms, complications, treatment, and various ways to cope with the condition’s emotional and physical effects. 

Understanding Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)

It is the process of ovulation. From the moment a woman begins menstruation to the time they approach menopause, the ovaries are in charge of delivering eggs into the fallopian tube once each month. Whenever a woman is diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure, her ovaries begin running out of eggs before she reaches menopause. Consequently, a woman with Premature Ovarian Failure might cycle in a start-stop pattern or infrequently.

A few practitioners refer to Premature Ovarian Failure as early menopause, but it does not correctly depict what happens to persons who have Premature Ovarian Failure. Women never have menstrual periods after menopause and can never conceive. Women with Premature Ovarian Failure may still have menstrual periods and may conceive in a few cases.

Premature Ovarian Failure affects about one in 1000 women between the ages of 15 and 29, as stated by the National Infertility Association. It impacts one out of every 100 women between 30 and 39. Early-onset Premature Ovarian Failure may start as early as 27 years old.

Symptoms of Premature Ovarian Failure

A few women with Premature Ovarian Failure have noticeable symptoms while many of them do not. When women try to conceive or quit taking hormonal birth control, they might realize they have Premature Ovarian Failure. Some may also notice absent or irregular menstrual periods and others may have a few of the most common symptoms, including the following:

  • Amenorrhea or no periods
  • Hot flashes
  • Irregular periods
  • Irritability
  • Night sweats
  • No or few puberty signs as a teenager
  • Painful sex because of thinning of the vaginal lining
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Trouble conceiving
  • Vaginal Dryness

Causes of Premature Ovarian Failure

In most cases, experts cannot identify the cause of Premature Ovarian Failure. However, a few expected causes include the following:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Infections that may harm or damage the ovaries, like mumps.
  • Ovaries surgery
  • Thyroid disease
  • Toxins from chemotherapy or radiation.
  • Genetic conditions, including Fragile X syndrome or Turner syndrome.

Management or treatment of a few underlying disorders that might induce Premature Ovarian Failure may help. But, Premature Ovarian Failure cannot be reversed.

Diagnosing Premature Ovarian Failure

Doctors diagnose POI based on a woman’s medical condition or history and the findings of hormone tests. Blood tests may be performed for antimüllerian hormone (AMH), estrogen, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). If suitable, a physical examination will also be performed, and you may undergo genetic testing to check for a mutation that causes POI, including Turner syndrome or Fragile X syndrome.

Besides, pelvic ultrasound may be used to examine the ovaries and seek other reasons for missed menstrual periods. A Premature Ovarian Failure diagnosis may also require consultation with a gynecologist specializing in reproductive endocrinology.

Consequences of Premature Ovarian Failure

Women with Premature Ovarian Failure are usually at higher risk of a few illnesses, including the following:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Impaired Cognition
  • Infertility
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stroke


Treating Premature Ovarian Failure

Once a person has been diagnosed with POF or POI, a doctor may treat them in many ways based on their objectives. To begin, a doctor will look into the reason for Premature Ovarian Failure. Identifying and addressing any underlying causes of POI can help to alleviate the symptoms. It, though, does not stop the egg loss.

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is usually suggested to reduce Premature Ovarian Failure symptoms. If a woman with this condition wants to conceive, they may consult doctors for various options.
  • A woman can prefer to opt for an egg donor in certain situations. Medications such as gonadotropins or clomiphene citrate may accelerate egg release or growth in a few cases. But, conceiving with one’s eggs could be challenging for women with POI.


Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) or Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries produce fewer eggs than usual. Doctors are often baffled as to what causes POF or POI, but it is frequently the outcome of an underlying disease.

Depending on the blood evaluations and medical history, a medical practitioner may diagnose Premature Ovarian Failure. They suggest a treatment plan based on if you want to conceive or not. Besides, you may get a consultation from reproductive professionals at Aastha Fertility Care Jaipur to know the best solutions for your specific condition and aspirations. Counseling would be beneficial in coping with the emotional effects of this disorder and its implications for fertility.

By Manali