Premature ovarian failureWhen a person is diagnosed with a disease, tends to feel alone and marginalized. Sometimes it helps to know that round the world there are others that face the same problems and situations. When a young woman finds out that she suffers from premature ovarian failure she feels different and alone.
Premature ovarian failure occurs when the ovaries don’t function normally before the age of 40. They fail to produce normal amounts of hormones estrogen and to release eggs regularly. The most sad result is the infertility .
The symptoms of premature ovarian failure are similar to that of the menopause. That’s why sometimes POF is mistaken with premature menopause but the two conditions are not the same . Women with premature ovarian failure can have irregular periods for years and can become pregnant . Women with premature menopause can not become pregnant. POF is unpredictable, a woman can hope to get better, but if the ovaries have not worked for many years then it is permanent in almost all of the cases.
The symptoms of premature ovarian failure are the ones of estrogen deficiency. They include : night sweats, vaginal dryness, decreased sexual desire, irritability, hot flashes. If a women is not having her period for 3 months she should consult a doctor.
The cause of premature ovarian failure is or follicle depletion or follicle disruption.
The causes of follicle depletion are chromosomal defects (like Turner’s syndrome, a woman has only one x chromosome, and fragile X syndrome, a cause of mental retardation)and toxins (like chemotherapy or radiation therapy or cigarette smoke ).
Follicle disruption can be the result of unknown factors like or an autoimmune disease. Your immune system is producing antibodies against your own ovarian tissue, harming the egg . There are also some externs factors like age or family history that increase the risk of premature ovarian failure.
The treatment for premature ovarian failure consist in replacing the hormones that your body no longer produces. This is called hormone replacing therapy and it will replace estrogen and progesterone that are necessary for menstrual periods and healthy bones. The hormones are available as skin patches, vaginal rings, shots, pills. Also birth control pills can be used for hormone replacing therapy because they contain both estrogen and progesterone although in a higher dose than needed .
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