Premature ovarian failure which is now known as premature ovarian insufficiency is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries produces fewer eggs than they are generally supposed to produce.
Does it affect pregnancy?
Ovaries have two million follicles at the time of birth and decrease gradually to lakhs at the time of menarche. Every month when one of these follicles matures and goes unfertilized, it bursts; hence your monthly cycle. It’s a natural process that starts at a very young age and after 45, the follicles decreases to 300 or 400 in number and heads gradually toward menopause, stopping of the menstrual cycle entirely.
Premature ovarian insufficiency meddles with the production of these follicles. As a result, it causes a significant decline in the egg generation.
Displaying early menopause like traits, premature ovarian insufficiency still allows a woman to menstruate, but the cycle is sporadic; sometimes skipping even months before your next period. Doesn’t mean women can’t get pregnant. They still can, but the chances are very much lower than the women who have fully functioning ovaries.
What causes premature ovarian insufficiency?
Doctors haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact origin of this condition. Experts, though, adds that premature ovarian insufficiency could be hereditary. Primary ovarian insufficiency may be caused by:
- Chromosomal defects. Some genetic disorders are associated with primary ovarian insufficiency. These include mosaic Turner syndrome — in which a woman has only one normal X chromosome and an altered second X chromosome — and fragile X syndrome — in which the X chromosomes are fragile and break.
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are common causes of toxin-induced ovarian failure. These therapies can damage the genetic material in cells. Other toxins such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, pesticides and viruses might hasten ovarian failure.
- Immune system response to ovarian tissue (an autoimmune disease).In this rare form, your immune system produces antibodies against your ovarian tissue, harming the egg-containing follicles and damaging the egg. What triggers the immune response is unclear, but exposure to a virus is one possibility.
- Unknown factors. The cause of primary ovarian insufficiency is often unknown (idiopathic). Your doctor might recommend further testing to find the cause, but in many cases, the cause remains unclear.
One of the distinguishable symptoms is premature menopause.
- Lower levels of estrogen cause irregular periods also known as amenorrhea.
- Going through anxiety, depression, or mood swings.
- Reduced sex drive.
- Fatigue, hot flashes, and sweating during the night.
The most common symptoms are infertility, vaginal dryness, sexual dysfunctioning, and insomnia.
Treatment for ovarian insufficiency depends on the severity of the disorder and usually focuses on the problems that arise from estrogen deficiency. Nevertheless, the disorder is treatable and can be treated with suitable medications.
- Estrogen therapy. Estrogen therapy can help prevent osteoporosis as well as relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of estrogen deficiency. Your doctor typically prescribes estrogen with the hormone progesterone, especially if you still have your uterus. Adding progesterone protects the lining of your uterus (endometrium) from precancerous changes that may be caused by taking estrogen alone.
The combination of hormones may make your period come back, but it won’t restore ovarian function. Depending on your health and preference, you might take hormone therapy until around age 45 to 55 — the average age of natural menopause.
In older women, long-term estrogen plus progestin therapy has been linked to an increased risk of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease and breast cancer. In young women with primary ovarian insufficiency, however, the benefits of hormone therapy outweigh the potential risks.
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements. Both nutrients are important for preventing osteoporosis, and you might not get enough in your diet or from exposure to sunlight. Your doctor might suggest bone density testing before starting supplements to get a baseline measurement.
For women ages 19 through 50, experts generally recommend 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day through food or supplements, increasing to 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and older.
The optimal daily dose of vitamin D isn’t yet clear. A good starting point for adults is 600 to 800 international units (IU) a day, through food or supplements. If your blood levels of vitamin D are low, your doctor might suggest higher doses.
If you are struggling with premature ovarian insufficiency and planning for Motherhood, considering IVF treatment will be a good idea. Talk to an expert to understand your options to start your family. You can book an appointment by calling our team at 8886592229 or visit http://aaradhyafertility.com/
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