Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) - Treatment

What kinds of treatment did you receive for the symptoms associated with POF?

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Are there treatments for the symptoms of premature ovarian failure?

Currently, no proven treatment will restore normal function to a woman's ovaries. But, health care providers can suggest treatments for some of the symptoms of premature ovarian failure.

One of the most common treatments for women with premature ovarian failure is hormone replacement therapy (HRT). In women with premature ovarian failure, HRT gives their bodies the estrogen and other hormones that their ovaries are not making. Replacing these hormones causes a woman with premature ovarian failure to start having regular periods again. In addition, HRT may help women with premature ovarian failure lower their risk for the bone disease osteoporosis.

HRT is usually a combination of the hormones estrogen and progesterone (or the man-made form of progesterone, called progestin). Women can take the therapy as a pill, or they can wear a patch that sticks to their skin to get the hormones into their bodies. Many health care providers suggest the patch for women with premature ovarian failure because it offers a continuous flow of hormones into the blood stream, which mimics the way the body naturally releases estrogen. The combination and amount of hormones used in HRT may differ for different women. If you have questions about HRT as a treatment for premature ovarian failure, talk to your health care provider.

Most health care providers suggest that women with premature ovarian failure take HRT until they are 50 years old. After that time, women should talk with their health care provider about stopping HRT because of risks associated with older women taking the therapy after menopause.

Current research is also looking into the benefits of replacing the hormone testosterone to prevent bone loss in women with premature ovarian failure. Most people think of men's health when they hear the word testosterone, but women's bodies also make testosterone, at a level about one-seventh that of men. Testosterone helps to maintain muscle and bone mass, and may be related to a woman's sex drive. The ovaries make testosterone, and its level is lower in women with premature ovarian failure. But, unlike estrogen and progesterone, testosterone is not usually replaced as part of HRT.

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


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