When menopause strikes before thirty

Consultant Gynaecologist, Mr Michael Savvas says, "In the UK the average age for a woman having their first child is around 30 years. Many women with POI will therefore not have had children, meaning that a diagnosis can be particularly distressing. However, even for women who have had children the loss of fertility is often troubling."

Menopause usually occurs around the age of fifty but it can occur much earlier. In 1% of women it occurs before the age of forty and this is termed Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) or Premature Menopause. In 0.1% of women it occurs before the age of thirty.

Women with POI will start to experience the usual symptoms of menopause, which include the following:


 Prevalence (%)


Vasomotor instability (Hot Flushes/night sweats)     36 - 87
Sleep disturbances     40 - 60
Mood Symptoms 15 - 78
Weight Gain 60 - 70
Muscle/joint pain   48 - 72
Palpitations       44 - 50
Headache 32 - 71
Poor memory   41 - 44
Urinary symptoms   25 - 30
 Sexual dysfunction         20 - 30


There is also have an even greater risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. However it is the loss of fertility that is often the most distressing consequence of POI.

Ovulation can still occur

The good news is that it is still possible to get pregnant because the ovarian function fluctuates and ovulation can still occur intermittently.

So, what are the realities?

  • The likelihood of pregnancy is reduced to around 5% in women with POI
  • There is no effective treatment to improve this statistic.
  • The longer a woman has had POI, the less likely it is that she will be able to conceive naturally. 
  • It is extremely unlikely that a woman with POI who has not had a natural period for two or more years will conceive.
  • The only real fertility treatment option available is IVF with donor eggs. This treatment is highly successful but there is a great shortage of egg donors in the UK.  

For the full article read - When Periods stop Prematurely

The basic unit of all living organisms. Full medical glossary
The process of determining which condition a patient may have. Full medical glossary
A viral infection affecting the respiratory system. Full medical glossary
Stopping or ceasing for a time. Full medical glossary
In vitro fertilisation. Fertilisation of the female reproductive cell (ovum) outside the body, before implantation into the uterus (womb). Full medical glossary

The time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle, and her periods cease

Full medical glossary
Relating to the part of the nervous system that carries information from the brain and spinal cord to cause activity in a muscle or gland. Full medical glossary
A condition resulting in brittle bones due to loss of bony tissue. Full medical glossary
relating to the ovaries Full medical glossary
When one or more eggs are released from the ovary. Full medical glossary
the period from conception to birth Full medical glossary
Relating to injury or concern. Full medical glossary