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:
|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 time of a woman’s life when her ovaries stop releasing an egg (ovum) on a monthly cycle, and her periods ceaseFull medical glossary