Info About Premature Ovarian Failure

If the ovaries stop functioning normally after age 40, it is generally considered natural menopause. However, in women with premature ovarian failure (POF), menstrual irregularities and a decline in fertility occur before age 40 -- sometimes even in the teens. Some healthcare providers also use the term "primary ovarian insufficiency" to describe this condition.
Premature ovarian failure is characterized by symptoms such as abnormal menstrual periods, hot flashes, and pain during sex. Hormone replacement therapy is often recommended to manage these symptoms.
(Click Premature Ovarian Failure for more info about this topic. This full-length article includes statistics on how many women are affected by this condition and whether it's possible to get pregnant if you have POF.)
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD