Premature Ovarian Failure - Experience

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What is premature ovarian failure (POF)?

Health care providers use the term premature ovarian failure to describe a stop in normal functioning of the ovaries in a woman under the age of 40. Many women naturally experience a decline in fertility at age 40; this age may also mark the beginning of irregularities in their menstrual cycles that signal the onset of menopause. For women with premature ovarian failure, the fertility decline and menstrual irregularities occur before age 40, sometimes even in the teens. Some health care providers also use the term primary ovarian insufficiency to describe this condition.

In the past, health care providers called this condition premature menopause, but this term is not an accurate description of what happens in a woman with premature ovarian failure. A woman who has gone through natural menopause will rarely ever have another period; a woman with premature ovarian failure is much more likely to have periods, even though they might not come regularly. There is virtually no chance for a woman who has gone through menopause naturally to get pregnant; in some cases, a woman with premature ovarian failure can still get pregnant.

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

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