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Premature Ovarian Failure Facts

Premature ovarian failure facts show that as many as 250,000 women under the age of 40 in the United States have the condition. Premature ovarian failure, or POF, is characterized by symptoms such as abnormal menstrual periods, hot flashes, and pain during sex. Other premature ovarian failure facts indicate that, despite the difficulties, between 5 and 10 percent of women with POF become pregnant without treatment.

Premature Ovarian Failure Facts: An Overview

  • Common name: Premature ovarian failure, or POF
  • Medical name: Premature ovarian failure, primary ovarian insufficiency
  • Number of women affected: Approximately 250,000 women under the age of 40 in the United States have POF.

Symptoms of Premature Ovarian Failure

Some common symptoms of premature ovarian failure may include:
  • Absent or irregular periods
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Painful sex
  • Drying of the vagina
  • Infertility.
Women with POF are also more likely to develop certain conditions, including osteoporosis, Addison's disease, and low thyroid function.

Treatment for Premature Ovarian Failure

Doctors often prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to relieve some of the symptoms of POF. Currently, there is no treatment that is proven safe and effective in restoring normal function of the ovaries or improving fertility.

Childbearing and Premature Ovarian Failure

It is difficult for women with POF to become pregnant because their ovaries are not functioning properly. However, between 5 and 10 percent of women with POF become pregnant without treatment.
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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