Some cases of inherited premature ovarian failure are caused by chromosomal irregularities. Two major conditions linked to premature ovarian failure (POF) are fragile X syndrome and Turner's syndrome, each of which is related to defects on an X chromosome. Specific testing can determine if you have either of these conditions.
Ramiz Masri, MD
Specialty: Obstetrics & Gynecology
Location and Office HoursEMH Women's Healthcare
125 E Broad
Elyria, OH 44035
- Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield
- CIGNA HealthCare
- Great-West Healthcare CIGNA
- Kaiser Permanente Health Plans
- Medical Mutual of Ohio/HMO Health Ohio
- Medical Mutual of Ohio/Super Med
- SummaCare Health Plan
- United Healthcare
- EMH Regional Medical Center
- How do chromosomal irregularities affect premature ovarian failure?
What does premature ovarian failure mean?
If you are under forty years old, your ovaries have stopped working as they usually do, and you have not had gynecological surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment, you may be diagnosed with premature ovarian failure (POF). Some health care providers also describe this condition as ovarian insufficiency. POF may occur years or decades before the typical age for menopause. With POF your menstrual periods may sometimes stop completely; but often, you may still menstruate sporadically. In fact, POF is sometimes not classified as early menopause because its biological causes are different.
Researchers have not been able to determine exactly why some women's ovaries stop working as usual at an early age. While autoimmune disorders, chromosomal disorders, smoking, and certain viruses have been implicated, some women may just be genetically programmed to go through menopause at a younger age than others. In this case, despite the medical terminology, your ovaries have not really "failed," they have simply completed their mission earlier than usual. Just as women begin menstruation at different ages, women also reach menopause at different ages. Also, the ovarian function may sometimes be temporarily disrupted and resume again.
What causes night sweats in women?
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredWatch this video to learn more from Dr. Mehmet Oz about night sweats.
See all Gynecology questions