Premature Menopause

What is Premature Menopause?

Premature Menopause, also known as Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) or Early Menopause, is a condition in which the ovaries stop releasing new ova before the age of forty.

What Causes Premature Menopause?
Premature Ovarian Failure is most commonly idiopathic - meaning that no reason for it is known. In some cases it can be caused by genetic diseases such as Fragile X syndrome and Turner Syndrome, chemotherapy and radiation*, surgical removal of ovaries or uterus, and auto-immune diseases.

What are the Symptoms?

The symptoms associated with premature menopause are generally the same as those associated with menopause. For a list, see one of the following links:

Menopause symptoms on or Symptoms of premature menopause on

Note that many of the symptoms listed can be caused by a wide variety of other medical conditions that may or may not have any impact on your fertility.

How is it Diagnosed?
A doctor will do a blood test to check for hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and FSH – Follicle Stimulating Hormone. FSH is the hormone that tells the ovaries to produce eggs. If the FSH is higher than 30, the doctor may diagnose Premature Menopause.

What Does it Mean in Terms of Fertility?

It means that the ovaries are no longer reliably producing eggs . In some cases, the ovarian failure is either incomplete or non-permanent and hormone therapy may be able to stimulate ovulation. Only 5 to 10% of women with premature ovarian failure become pregnant naturally or with hormone therapy alone. Once menses has stopped completely, hormone therapies are even less likely to help.



If hormone therapies are not an option, the best fertility option is donor eggs, since the ovaries are no longer producing eggs. Donor eggs can be fertilized with the partner's sperm (or donor sperm) and transferred using IVF. Likewise, donor embryos can be used and transferred with IVF.


Stories by women diagnosed with premature menopause:

PJ (find out more about high FSH!)

*For women who need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation, freezing embryos, eggs, or ovarian tissue prior to treatment should be considered.

News: Healthy baby born after frozen ovarian tissue transplant

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Barnes & Noble Pregnancy & Pre-pregnancy Books