Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POF, Premature Ovarian Failure, POI)

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How many women are affected by or at risk for primary ovarian insufficiency?

Estimates suggest that about 1% of women and teenage girls in the United States have POI.1 Researchers estimate that, categorized by age, POI affects:

  • 1 in 10,000 women by age 20
  • 1 in 1,000 women by age 30
  • 1 in 250 women by age 35
  • 1 in 100 women by age 408

Several factors can affect a woman's risk for POI:

  • Family history. Women who have a mother or sister with POI are more likely to have the disorder. About 10% to 20% of women with POI have a family history of the condition.8
  • Genes. Some changes to genes and genetic conditions put women at higher risk for POI. Research suggests that these disorders and conditions cause as much as 28% of POI cases.9 For example:
    • Women who carry a variation of the gene for Fragile X syndrome are at higher risk for Fragile X-Associated POI (FXPOI). 10 Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of intellectual and developmental disability, but women with FXPOI do not have Fragile X syndrome itself. Instead, they have a change or mutation in the same gene that causes Fragile X syndrome, and this change is linked to FXPOI.
    • Most women who have Turner syndrome develop POI. Turner syndrome is a condition in which a girl or woman is partially or completely missing an X chromosome. Most women are XX, meaning they have two X chromosomes. Women with Turner syndrome are X0, meaning one of the X chromosomes is missing.
  • Other factors. Autoimmune diseases, viral infections, chemotherapy, and other treatments also may put a woman at higher risk of POI.8

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