How is primary ovarian insufficiency diagnosed? continued...
To check for possible ovarian failure, your
blood level of
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) will be checked.
FSH signals your body to release an egg every month. If the amount of FSH in
your blood is higher than normal on more than one day, you may have primary ovarian insufficiency. Another blood test also may be done to measure the amount of
estradiol (or estrogen) in your blood. Very low estrogen with a high FSH is a
sign of primary ovarian insufficiency.
Some women find out they have
primary ovarian insufficiency when they see a doctor because they are having
trouble getting pregnant.
How is it treated?
Treatment for primary ovarian insufficiency will help you manage your symptoms. But there is currently no treatment
that will make the ovaries start to work properly again. Your doctor may
prescribe hormone therapy or other medicines to help with hot
flashes. Hormone therapy can also help prevent early bone loss in
women who have this condition. Talk to your doctors about which
treatments may be right for you.
Some women with primary ovarian insufficiency may choose to try to become pregnant using donor eggs and
in vitro fertilization. For more on this treatment,
see the topic
Finding out you have
primary ovarian insufficiency can be extremely upsetting, especially for a woman
who hopes to become pregnant. You may want to get support through counseling.
You also can find information and support through the International Premature Ovarian Failure Association
support group, available online at www.pofsupport.org.
Can primary ovarian insufficiency be prevented?
this time, there is no way to prevent primary ovarian insufficiency. But you can
take steps to protect your overall health. Women with this condition have a higher risk of bone thinning and fractures (osteoporosis),
diabetes, and heart disease. A balanced and low-fat
diet, regular exercise, and not smoking can help protect your bones and heart.
Getting enough calcium and vitamin D may help slow bone loss. Talk to your
doctor about other steps you can take.