Premature Ovarian Failure

Premature ovarian failure is the medical term used to describe early menopause, the loss of ovarian function before age 35. Menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of 42 and 56. Premature ovarian failure is a condition in which menopause occurs before the age of 40. Women who develop early menopause usually have run out of eggs in their ovaries, which leads to the inability of the ovary to produce estrogen.

Symptoms of Premature Ovarian Failure

You may experience menstrual irregularity, hot flashes, mood changes, loss of libido, and vaginal dryness.

Causes of Premature Ovarian Failure

The cause of premature ovarian failure is generally unknown. However, there are a few reasons why the ovaries may experience a decrease in egg supply at an early age. Exposure to certain chemicals or medical treatments can damage or destroy the ovaries. These may include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are sometimes associated with early menopause, because the immune system forms antibodies that attack and damage the ovaries. Heredity can also play a role as some genetic disorders lead to early menopause. Women with premature ovarian failure are also more likely to have thyroid disease and diabetes.

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