Premature Ovarian Failure POF occurs when ovarian function fails before the age of 40.
POF may occur due to an autoimmune disorder, a chromosomal abnormality or due to a condition called fragile X. However, in many women the cause is unknown. Nevertheless it is important to evaluate the patient for other associated conditions including autoimmune abnormalities, thyroid abnormalities, fragile X syndrome, chromosomal abnormalities and osteoporosis.
It has been reported that patients with POF have a 5-10% chance of conception with their own eggs since sporadic ovulation can occur. Patients with premature ovarian failure have very few if any remaining eggs, and the eggs that are present usually are poor in quality. Therefore, the most successful treatment for this patient is the use of donor eggs. This can be done either as part of a fresh IVF cycle using an egg donor or through the use of eggs from our frozen donor egg bank. Patients may also choose to conceive using donor embryos.
Other side effects of premature ovarian failure, such as hot flashes and bone loss may be treated with the use of estrogen, progesterone, calcium, vitamin D and exercise. Since bone loss is linked to low estrogen levels, a scan for bone mineral density may be done to determine bone density prior to the start of therapy.
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