What is POF? How does it affect pregnancy in women? In simple words, POF (Premature Ovarian Failure) is early menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. The period between puberty and menopause is the reproductive period in a woman. In a woman, if the ovaries stop producing eggs early, before the age of 40 and there are subsequently no periods, this is called premature ovarian failure. Women who have POF may experience some symptoms similar to that of menopause - such as hot flashes, irregular or no periods, vaginal dryness etc. POF may occur abruptly over 1 to 2 months or may repeat over several times in a year. Another sign of POF is higher levels of FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) or estrogen levels. How is POF Diagnosed? POF diagnosis is made based on clinical assessment, blood tests (to look at hormone levels, antibodies, & genetic tests) and an ultrasound scan of the ovaries to evaluate the structure of the ovaries & uterus. How is it treated? POF is permanent. The treatment is usually done by replacing the hormones that the ovaries no longer produce such as estrogen & progesterone, called as HRT-Hormone Replacement Therapy. This helps with the management of menopausal symptoms but does not result in the production of eggs in the ovaries. How does POF affect pregnancy? POF affects 1% of young women. It seriously interferes with fertility and family planning. Pregnancy is, however, possible through assisted conception, with success rates up to 50%, depending on various factors such as the of cause of POF, treatment type & woman’s age. IVF with donor eggs is an excellent option for POF affected women with high chances of conception. If facing any of fertility issues, please contact our fertility specialist doctors at GarbhaGudi IVF Centre which is functioning at five different branches in Bangalore.
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