What is Premature Ovarian Failure
High FSH, DOR, aging eggs. The average age that menopause sets in is around 51 years of age. If you begin to experience symptoms of menopause prior to age 40, you could be entering into premature ovarian failure. While premature menopause and premature ovarian failure have overlapping symptoms, they are not one in the same. Women with premature ovarian failure can have irregular periods and still become pregnant. Women with premature menopause cease to menstruate and are unable to become pregnant.
Symptoms of POF
- Irregular or skipped periods
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Irritability or difficulty concentrating
- Decreased sexual desire
- Difficulty conceiving
Because of the decrease in estrogen being produced, it can be difficult for women with POF to conceive.
Similar to premature ovarian failure, high levels of the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) can have an effect similar to menopause. However, with high levels of FSH, it could actually indicate the beginning stages of menopause. In addition to having high levels of FSH, your periods could stop, preventing conception.
Diminished Ovarian Reserve
DOR is a condition wherein the ovary loses its normal reproductive potential. This can happen naturally with age but it can also be caused by an injury or disease. Most women won’t experience any symptoms of diminished ovarian reserve which can make it difficult to diagnose. It may require a blood test done by your physician.
Fertility naturally declines as a woman ages due to the aging of the eggs. This is why women who are in their 50’s are able to successfully carry a pregnancy to term with another woman’s eggs. As a woman ages, the chances of Down Syndrome in the baby rise due to complications with cell division.
It’s best to consult with your doctor before jumping to any conclusions about these conditions. Let a medical professional ease your worries and be realistic with you about your chances of conception.
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