What Is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency or Primary Ovarian Failure :Causes ,Symptoms and Complications , Diagnosed

What is Premature Ovarian Failure

Learning about your fertility issues is always heartbreaking. In this article, we will discuss primary ovarian failure.
This condition affects about 1-4 per cent of females and prevents conception.

What is Premature Ovarian Failure

What is Premature Ovarian Failure

What Is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

Females have ovaries that release egg and female hormones that is required to start and for the continuation of pregnancy successfully. In premature ovarian failure or primary ovarian failure, ovaries stop the release of eggs in females even below 40 years of age. This condition mostly affects the females in 27 years but may also affect females in early teens and in certain cases, it is present from birth. The risk of primary ovarian insufficiency increases with age.

What Causes Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

In most of the cases, the cause is unknown. However, POI may be caused due to the reasons suggested below:

Chromosomal Defect-

Fragile X syndrome or Turner’s syndrome may be associated with premature ovarian failure. Females suffering from Turners syndrome has only normal X chromosome but the second X chromosome in them is either missing or altered. In females with fragile X chromosomes syndrome X chromosome is so weak that it tends to break.

Autoimmune disease-

In autoimmune diseases, the body’s immune system starts attacking the tissues native to the body. If POI is caused due to autoimmune disease, antibodies damage the follicles containing eggs.


Women who undergoes chemotherapy and radiotherapy also suffers from ovarian insufficiency

What Are the Symptoms Of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

The symptoms of primary ovarian insufficiency include symptoms similar to menopause such as night sweats, hot flashes, irregular periods, depression and mood swings, trouble sleeping, irritability, anxiety, loss of libido, vaginal dryness and trouble in concentration.

What Are the Symptoms Of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

What Are the Symptoms Of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

POI May Lead to Several Complications such as:

Infertility –

As the eggs are depleted entirely there is no chance of getting pregnant naturally.


Low level of estrogen hormone that maintains the health of bones leads to weak and brittle bones prone to fracture.

Anxiety and depression-

The females facing complications of premature ovarian failure such as infertility, loss of libido etc. often suffer from anxiety and stress.

Heart diseases-

Low level of estrogen hormone in early age increases the risk of cardiac health issues.


Lack of hormone estrogen in females also may lead to dementia.

How Is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Diagnosed

Primary ovarian insufficiency is diagnosed through various tests. First, the doctor takes your medical history, and physical exam is done to find out the reason. In addition, a pregnancy test is done to rule out the pregnancy. Next blood test is done to determine the level of FSH hormone to ensure the normal functioning of ovaries. In addition, blood test helps to assess the level of the female hormones estrogen and luteinizing hormone. In additions, tests are conducted to check for genetic disorders and autoimmune diseases.

How Is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Diagnosed

How Is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Diagnosed

How is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Managed

No treatment that can return the normal functioning of ovaries in POI patients. However, a few options include hormonal replacement therapy to add progesterone and estrogen hormone in the female body. This is done through gels, pills sprays, patches and vaginal ring. HRT provide hormonal balance and reduces the risk of osteoporosis, dementia and heart diseases that results as a lack of estrogen.

Your doctor may also prescribe medications to prevent hot flashes. Females who want to have a baby may opt for in-vitro-fertilization or may get pregnant with donor eggs.

Can We Prevent Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

Premature ovarian failure cannot be prevented. However, you can take steps to reduce the complications and ease symptoms.

Eat a well-

balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Avoid smoking. Eat food low in fat to prevent bone loss. Drink lots of water Exercise regularly. Practice yoga, meditation and breathing exercises to relieve stress and anxiety.




Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta
Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta:  Professionally a homeopathic doctor and a dietician Dr. Ritu Kumari Gupta is passionate about writing health and parenting blogs. She believes in holistic approach towards health and well being.