Menstrual Glossary A to Z

Premature Ovarian Failure

May also be called premature menopause, 'primary' ovarian failure or POF. Condition in which a woman's ovarian function ? notably the presence of follicles containing eggs ? slows markedly or ceases at any time prior to age 40. The most common symptom is irregular or absent menstrual periods. Some women also experience the full range of well-known menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, irritability, insomnia, decreased libido, and dry vaginal tissues.

Sometimes hereditary, POF can be the result of a number of conditions, such as Fragile X syndrome or carriers (a genetic condition.) Often, the exact cause is undetermined.

POF symptoms can be treated, but there is no guaranteed way to medically reverse the trend of slowed ovarian function. Some women have conceived with their own eggs when stimulated with fertility medications, while more commonly, women with POF can use a donor's eggs to become pregnant and give birth.

Disclaimer: All information provided in this glossary is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a medical doctor or qualified healthcare provider. You should not use this information for self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. If you have any questions whatsoever about your medical health or believe you have a medical problem or disease, you should contact your medical doctor or healthcare provider. You should never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical advice or treatment because of something you have read in this glossary. No guarantee is made about the accuracy, completeness, or relevance of the information contained herein.