Premature ovarian failure
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Premature ovarian failure results in loss of ovarian function before age 40 and leads to permanent infertility. It is also known as early ovarian failure syndrome or premature (early) menopause. It is a genetic condition, and the triad of symptoms that help diagnose it is: amenorrhea, hypergonadotropism and hypoestrogenesis.
What are the causes?
In women whose ovaries function normally the pituitary gland releases certain hormones during each menstrual cycle. They contribute to the maturation of a small number of follicles contained in the ovaries. Normally, one follicle reaches maturity every month. When it reaches maturity it is released by the ovaries, at which point the pregnancy can be obtained, if you wish.
Premature ovarian failure occurs when the ovaries no longer contain follicles or when the usually contained follicle reserve reacts unusually to hormonal stimulation. The condition can have several causes:
- chromosomal abnormalities (Turner syndrome);
- toxins - chemotherapy or radiation therapy are the most common causes of the disease; these therapies destroy cellular genetic material; in addition, exposure to chemicals, pesticides, cigarette smoke, etc. may also be to blame;
- autoimmune diseases - the immune system produces antibodies against its own ovarian tissue, attacking the follicles and affecting the egg;
- unknown factors - if the other causes are excluded, but you are still diagnosed with premature ovarian failure, then the causes remain unknown.
What are the symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of early ovarian failure are similar to menopause or estrogen deficiency and include:
- irregular or absent care (amenorrhea);
- heat buffers;
- night sweats;
- dry vagina;
- difficulties in concentration and irritability;
- low libido.
What are the complications of early ovarian failure syndrome?
One of the most serious complications that can occur is infertility. Women suffering from this condition are unable to conceive children.
Osteoporosis is another common complication, due to the very low level of estrogen.
The risk of infertility and hypoestrogenesis leads to the onset of depression and anxiety.
How is it treated?
The treatment is focused on improving and healing the problems that occur due to estrogen deficiency in the body. Therefore, doctors may recommend estrogen therapy to increase its level and prevent complications.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements are needed to prevent osteoporosis. But their dose varies with each woman and depends on the results of bone density tests.
Unfortunately, ovarian function cannot be restored due to this condition, so infertility cannot be treated. You cannot conceive a child naturally. But you can use assisted human reproduction techniques, such as in vitro fertilization, through donated eggs.
Tags Menstruation Infertility women Menstrual cycle Causes infertility