Premature ovarian failure (POF) is another term for the early onset of the female menopause. When a woman’s ovaries stop producing oestrogen, menopause will begin. The average age at the onset of menopause is 51, but early menopause can occur before 40 years of age. Unfortunately, around 10% of all women are affected by premature ovarian failure. It’s sounds like a very dramatic term, but it doesn’t mean we can’t help you to become pregnant.
There are lots of reasons why women have premature ovarian failure. Various genetic factors, autoimmune disorders, surgical removal of ovaries and receiving cancer treatments are among the most common causes. As menopause occurs your eggs will become no longer viable and, unfortunately, there are no treatments available to produce new eggs therefore fertility treatment with donor eggs is usually the only option.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
As well as infertility, ovarian failure can create other problems for women. These too can be overcome provided they’re identified and treated appropriately. The ovaries are responsible for producing oestrogen, the main female sex hormone. Among many other functions, oestrogen plays an important role in maintaining bone strength, delaying teeth and hair loss, and preventing vaginal dryness. Low oestrogen production can leave your bones susceptible to fractures. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be appropriate in some cases. In addition to this, close monitoring of your bone strength using a bone density scan can greatly reduce any risk of bone damage.