Premature ovarian failure

Common Name(s)

Premature ovarian failure

Premature ovarian failure (POF) is when a woman stops menstruating, or having her period, before the age of 40. In POF, the ovaries may stop functioning completely and menstruation will be absent, or the ovaries will remain partially functional and menstruation will occur less frequently.

POF can be caused by follicular depletion or follicle dysfunction. A follicle is a small fluid-filled sac located in the ovaries that contains an egg. One egg is released from its follicle each month during ovulation. Follicle depletion occurs when there are no more follicles left in one or both of the ovaries, and thus ovulation does not occur. This can be the result of a genetic condition or damage to the eggs caused by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Follicle dysfunction can be caused by damage to the ovaries such as from the immune system as well as other causes.

Ovarian failure can occur as slowly as over the course of several years, or as quickly as over the course of a few months. An affected woman will typically begin skipping periods, with widening gaps of time between periods until they stop altogether. Symptoms of menopause, such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and mood swings, are often experienced. POF is also associated with infertility and increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.

While there is currently no way to reverse POF, there are several treatment options including estrogen therapy that can help with the symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with POF, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options. In addition, a genetic counselor can help discuss inheritance and risks to other family members. Support groups are a great source of information and can connect you with other women living with POF.

Source: Advocacy organizations associated with the condition.

 

Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Premature ovarian failure" for support, advocacy or research.

International Premature Ovarian Failure Association, Inc.

Our mission is to provide community, support, and information to women with POF and their loved ones, to increase public awareness and understanding of POF, and to work with HCP to better understand this condition.

Last Updated: 20 Jul 2010

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Rachel's Well

Rachel's Well in an innovative, multi-disciplinary non-profit organization committed to increaseing women's health research and education, particularly around the issues of menstrual health and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI).

Last Updated: 5 May 2014

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General Support Organizations

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Premature ovarian failure" for support, advocacy or research.

International Premature Ovarian Failure Association, Inc.

Our mission is to provide community, support, and information to women with POF and their loved ones, to increase public awareness and understanding of POF, and to work with HCP to better understand this condition.

http://www.ipofa.org

Last Updated: 20 Jul 2010

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Rachel's Well

Rachel's Well in an innovative, multi-disciplinary non-profit organization committed to increaseing women's health research and education, particularly around the issues of menstrual health and primary ovarian insufficiency (POI).

http://www.rachelswell.org/

Last Updated: 5 May 2014

View Details

 

General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Premature ovarian failure" returned 109 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Very low doses of heavy oxygen ion radiation induce premature ovarian failure.
 

Author(s): Birendra Mishra, Ryan Ripperdan, Laura Ortiz, Ulrike Luderer

Journal: Reproduction. 2017 Aug;154(2):123-133.

 

Astronauts are exposed to charged particles during space travel, and charged particles are also used for cancer radiotherapy. Premature ovarian failure is a well-known side effect of conventional, low linear energy transfer (LET) cancer radiotherapy, but little is known about the ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE COMBINED WITH HORMONE THERAPY TO TREAT PREMATURE OVARIAN FAILURE: A META-ANALYSIS OF RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS.
 

Author(s): Mei-Jing Kou, Xiu-Fang Ding, Jia-Xu Chen, Yan Liu, Yue-Yun Liu

Journal:

 

This meta-analysis aimed to provide critically estimated evidence for the advantages and disadvantages of Chinese herbal medicines used for premature ovarian failure (POF), which could provide suggestions for rational treatments.

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Letter to the Editor - DTC chemotherapy regimen is associated with higher incidence of premature ovarian failure in women of reproductive age with breast cancer.
 

Author(s): L Del Pup, G Codacci Pisanelli, S Schettini, M Guido, F A Peccatori

Journal: Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016 10;20(19):3955-3956.

 

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Premature ovarian failure" returned 15 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Melatonin and Fertoprotective Adjuvants: Prevention against Premature Ovarian Failure during Chemotherapy.
 

Author(s): Hoon Jang, Kwonho Hong, Youngsok Choi

Journal:

 

Premature ovarian failure is one of the side effects of chemotherapy in pre-menopausal cancer patients. Preservation of fertility has become increasingly important in improving the quality of life of completely recovered cancer patients. Among the possible strategies for preserving ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Activation of dormant follicles: a new treatment for premature ovarian failure?
 

Author(s): Kazuhiro Kawamura, Nanami Kawamura, Aaron J W Hsueh

Journal: Curr. Opin. Obstet. Gynecol.. 2016 06;28(3):217-22.

 

Premature ovarian failure (POF) is diagnosed by amenorrhea before 40 years of age. Owing to exhaustion of follicles in POF ovaries, egg donation is the only option. Although menstrual cycles cease in POF patients, some of them still contain residual dormant follicles in ovaries. Recently, ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Aetiological coding sequence variants in non-syndromic premature ovarian failure: From genetic linkage analysis to next generation sequencing.
 

Author(s): Paul Laissue

Journal: Mol. Cell. Endocrinol.. 2015 Aug;411():243-57.

 

Premature ovarian failure (POF) is a frequent pathology affecting 1-1.5% of women under 40 years old. Despite advances in diagnosing and treating human infertility, POF is still classified as being idiopathic in 50-80% of cases, strongly suggesting a genetic origin for the disease. ...

Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Last Updated: 26 Apr 2017

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Rejuvenation of Premature Ovarian Failure With Stem Cells
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Premature Ovarian Failure

 

Last Updated: 7 Aug 2018

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Ovarian Histopathology and Laparoscopic Assessment of Premature Ovarian Failure
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Premature Ovarian Failure

 

Last Updated: 25 Jan 2018

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