Premature Ovarian Insufficiency

The providers at the Fertility Institute of Hawaii have evaluated and treated many women in Hawaii and elsewhere for premature ovarian insufficiency associated with infertility.   With fertility offices in Honolulu, Kailua, Hilo, Kona, and Maui, the Fertility Institute of Hawaii can perform a complete evaluation and offer aggressive fertility treatment options for anyone experiencing ovarian failure.

Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is the medical term used to describe early menopause. Menopause usually occurs in women between the ages of 42 and 56. Premature ovarian insufficiency (early menopause) is a condition in which menopause occurs before the age of 40. Women who develop early menopause usually have run out of eggs in their ovaries. The cause of premature ovarian failure is generally unknown. However, there are a few reasons why the ovaries may stop producing eggs at an early age. Exposure to certain chemicals or medical treatments can damage or destroy the ovaries. These may include chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis are sometimes associated with early menopause because the immune system forms antibodies that attack and damage the ovaries. Heredity can also play a role – some genetic disorders lead to early menopause.

How premature ovarian insufficiency is diagnosed

Your medical history is important in diagnosing premature ovarian insufficiency. However, other tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis. You may need one or more of the following blood tests:

  • FSH blood level – a high level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in your blood at a specific time in your cycle may indicate menopause.
  • Immunology testing – tests that diagnose autoimmune problems of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal gland that may be related to developing early menopause.
  • Karyotype and Fragile-X Testing – a photograph of your chromosomes, used to diagnose genetic causes of early menopause.

The best and usually the only option for reproductive treatment of premature ovarian insufficiency is donor oocyte in vitro fertilization.

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