“Loss of ovarian function occurring in women younger than 40 years of age is called premature ovarian insufficiency (POI). POI may also be referred to as…”.1

Umbrella

What may the Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this umbrella may include:

  • Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)
  • Premature Ovarian Failure Syndrome
  • Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)

Terminology

Are premature menopause, premature ovarian failure (POF) and/or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) the same?

In What Is POI: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency the (United Kingdom) Daisy Network explain:

“Premature menopause, premature ovarian failure and/or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) are terms that are generally used to describe the same condition, whatever the cause. The words are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing at first. There is no internationally agreed wording, however the newer term for the condition is premature ovarian insufficiency, which may describe it more accurately as the ovaries may not have irreversibly ‘failed’ and premature ovarian insufficiency has important differences from the ‘normal’ menopause which occurs at an average age of 51”.2

Premature Menopause and Early Menopause

Early MenopausePremature MenopauseIs premature menopause the same as early menopause?

In Menopause the (United States) Endocrine Society note:

“In the United States, the average age for menopause is 51 for non-smokers and 49 for smokers, with a typical age range somewhere between 47 and 55 years. Some women experience menopause sooner — before age 45 is considered early menopause, and before age 40 is considered premature menopause”.3

Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)

What is premature ovarian insufficiency (POI)?

DotS the definition of POI may vary. In Spontaneous Premature Ovarian Insufficiency: Definitions and Epidemiology. the Australasian Menopause Society (AMS) elaborate on:

“Loss of ovarian function occurring in women younger than 40 years of age is called premature ovarian insufficiency (POI). POI may also be referred to as primary ovarian insufficiency, premature menopause or premature/ primary ovarian failure)”.4

In Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Symptoms & Causes – Overview the (United States) Mayo Clinic’s definition is:

“Primary ovarian insufficiency occurs when the ovaries stop functioning as they should before age 40. When this happens, your ovaries don’t produce typical amounts of the hormone estrogen or release eggs regularly. This condition is also called premature ovarian failure and often leads to infertility”.5

POI and Periods

Can women with POI have periods?

In Menopause Before 40 and Spontaneous Premature Ovarian Insufficiency the AMS note:

“Women with spontaneous POI have irregular or no periods”.6

POI and Pregnancy

Can women with POI become pregnant?

In Premature & Early Menopause: Terminology – Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health explain:

“Spontaneous pregnancy may occur, especially after the diagnosis has been made, in up to one in 50 women”.7

POI and Menopausal Symptoms

Can women with POI have menopausal symptoms?

In Menopause Before 40 and Spontaneous Premature Ovarian Insufficiency the AMS note:

“Women may or may not have menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes”.8

POI Common or Not

How common is POI?

In Premature Ovarian Insufficiency: How Common Is Premature Ovarian Insufficiency? You and Your Hormones, An Education Resource From the (United States) Society for Endocrinology elaborate on:

“It is relatively uncommon, occurring in one in 1,000 women under the age of 30 years and 1-4% of women under the age of 40 years. Early menopause (less than 45 years) occurs in up to 12% of women”.9

POI Symptoms

What may be POI symptoms?

In Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI): Summary – What Are the Symptoms of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)? according to the (United States) Medline Plus:

“The first sign of POI is usually irregular or missed periods. Later symptoms may be similar to those of natural menopause:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Pain during sex
  • Vaginal dryness

For many women with POI, trouble getting pregnant or infertility is the reason they go to their health care provider”.10

Irregular Periods

Is there a video about irregular periods?

The International Menopause Society’s Videos and Podcasts: Interviews and Podcasts – Interviews: When Your Periods Leave Too Early include:

The British Menopause Society’s (BMS) BMS TV include Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) Explained – A British Menopause Society Video. The BMS explain:

“Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)

Mr Mike Savvas, Consultant Gynaecologist, King’s College Hospital, and Member – BMS medical advisory council, answers these FAQs: What is POI? How is POI diagnosed? What are the health implications of POI? How do patients with POI present? How is POI treated? Should I take HRT? Can I still get pregnant if I have POI? What are my fertility chances if I have POI? Is HRT contraceptive?”11

Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences

What is the (Australian) Healthtalk Australia’s Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences?

In Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences – Overview Healthtalk Australia elaborate on:

“On this unique site you can read, watch and listen to stories of 30 women aged between 28 and 51 years, from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds living in Victoria, Australia, who have shared what it is like to experience early menopause (EM).

Women talked about being diagnosed with spontaneous early menopause, premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), medically-induced early menopause, or menopausal symptoms as a result of cancer and/or other medical treatments”.12

World Menopause Day 2020Premature Ovarian Insufficiency

What was the theme for World Menopause Day 2020?

The theme for World Menopause Day 2020 was Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI).

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have POI?

If you think you have POI it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

On page of two of the IMS’s Patient Information Leaflet: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)? Can POI Symptoms Be Successfully Treated? the IMS note:

“Yes! Symptoms can be successfully treated with hormone therapy and managed with a healthy diet, regular exercise and emotional well-being”.13

In Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Symptoms – When To See A Doctor the (United States) Mayo Clinic elaborate on:

“If you’ve missed your period for three months or more, see your health care provider to determine the cause. You can miss your period for a number of reasons — including pregnancy, stress, or a change in diet or exercise habits — but it’s best to get evaluated whenever your menstrual cycle changes.

Even if you don’t mind not having periods, it’s advisable to see your provider to find out what’s causing the change. Low estrogen levels can lead to bone loss and an increased risk of heart disease”.14

In Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Treatment & Therapies the Endocrine Society explain:

“Treatment depends on whether you have symptoms or are at risk for serious health problems. Hormone therapy (HT) is the most common treatment. HT combines estrogen and progesterone, another sex hormone. HT relieves menopausal symptoms and also helps prevent osteoporosis. HT can be taken as a pill or applied to your skin as a patch. Vaginal rings can also supply estrogen to the body”.15

Health Topics A-Z

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Links

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Spontaneous Premature Ovarian Insufficiency: Definitions and Epidemiology. Content Updated: September 2020. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/742-spontaneous-premature-ovarian-insufficiency Accessed: 26 July 2022
  2. What Is POI: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency. Daisy Network https://www.daisynetwork.org.uk/about-poi/what-is-poi/ Accessed: 26 July 2022
  3. Menopause. Last Updated: 23 January 2022. Endocrine Society https://www.endocrine.org/patient-engagement/endocrine-library/menopause Accessed: 26 July 2022
  4. Spontaneous Premature Ovarian Insufficiency: Definitions and Epidemiology. Content Updated: September 2020. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/hp/information-sheets/742-spontaneous-premature-ovarian-insufficiency Accessed: 26 July 2022
  5. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Symptoms – When To See A Doctor. 27 October 2021. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-ovarian-failure/symptoms-causes/syc-20354683 Accessed: 26 July 2022
  6. Menopause Before 40 and Spontaneous Premature Ovarian Insufficiency. Content Updated: October 2020. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-before-40-and-spontaneous-poi Accessed: 26 July 2022
  7. Premature & Early Menopause: Terminology – Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). Last Updated: 24 March 2021. Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://www.jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause Accessed: 26 July 2022
  8. Menopause Before 40 and Spontaneous Premature Ovarian Insufficiency. Content Updated: October 2020. Australasian Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org.au/health-info/fact-sheets/menopause-before-40-and-spontaneous-poi Accessed: 26 July 2022
  9. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency: How Common Is Premature Ovarian Insufficiency. Last Reviewed: April 2022. You and Your Hormones, An Education Resource From the Society for Endocrinology https://www.yourhormones.info/endocrine-conditions/premature-ovarian-insufficiency/ Accessed: 26 July 2022
  10. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Summary – What Are the Symptoms of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)? Last Updated: 05 May 2022. MedlinePlus https://medlineplus.gov/primaryovarianinsufficiency.html Accessed: 26 July 2022
  11. BMS TV: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). Website Last Reviewed: July 2022. British Menopause Society https://thebms.org.uk/publications/videos/bms-tv/ Accessed: 26 July 2022
  12. Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences – Overview. Healthtalk Australia https://healthtalkaustralia.org/early-menopause-experiences-and-perspectives-of-women-and-health-professionals/overview-womens-experiences/ Accessed: 26 July 2022
  13. Patient Information Leaflet: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). 2020:2. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/wmd-2020-leaflet-english.pdf Accessed: 26 July 2022
  14. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Symptoms – When To See A Doctor. 27 October 2021. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-ovarian-failure/symptoms-causes/syc-20354683 Accessed: 26 July 2022
  15. Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: How Is POI Treated? Last Updated: 23 January 2022. Endocrine Society https://www.endocrine.org/patient-engagement/endocrine-library/primary-ovarian-insuffiency 26 July 2022
Topic Last Updated: 02 August 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 26 July 2022

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