Insufficiency Of Ovaries: Symptoms And Causes

Primary ovarian insufficiency is different from premature menopause, know symptoms and causes for this condition.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Feb 11, 2022 16:14 IST
Insufficiency Of Ovaries: Symptoms And Causes

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There are multiple conditions that affect women and this does not end till menopause. Most women suffer from conditions that are associated with their sexual health and intimacy. Primary ovarian insufficiency is also one of them. We know that everyone is unique in itself and has been made differently. Therefore some women may have insufficiency of ovaries, in which their ovaries are not mature enough to handle eggs. This usually happens after the age of 40 years in women but there could be cases in which it could occur soon as well. Let us understand and know about this condition in women with more detail. 

Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

Onlymyhealth spoke to Dr. Usha Sharma, Consultant and Gynecologist from Ivory Hospital, Greater Noida to know about this condition. She told that ovarian insufficiency happens in women when ovaries do not produce hormones that are needed to release eggs. This can also happen if they produce significantly less amount of estrogen in the body that is responsible to release eggs. 


She also said that primary ovarian insufficiency is confused by premature menopause. There is lot of difference between these two conditions. Women having this condition in particular have irregular or occasional periods which mean that they may be able to produce eggs sometime, but it is not regular. On the other hand premature menopause means that there are no longer periods and the production of eggs in the body has stopped. So in the later case, women cannot become pregnant. 

The basic treatment requires restoring the estrogen levels in the body in order for women to produce eggs. This can treat the condition of insufficiency of ovaries. There are also some conditions that contribute in creating these issues such as osteoporosis.

Symptoms of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

In order to understand the cause of ovarian insufficiency, you need to know that this is a case of estrogen deficiency in the body. This could include the following symptoms-

  • Having regular hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Irregular periods or skipping of period
  • Increased intake of birth control pills that causes imbalance of estrogen levels in the body
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irritability and difficulty in concentration
  • Decreased sexual desires

Also Read- Vaginal Discharge: Why Does It Happens And What Is Normal, When To Worry

Causes of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency 

According to our expert, there could be several reasons for ovarian insufficiency but 3 of the major reasons are as follows. 

1. Chromosome changes

In some situations and cases, there are genetic disorder that could cause primary insufficiency of ovaries. This could include having one typical X chromosome and the other altered chromosome. This is called mosaic turner syndrome in which the X chromosomes are fragile and they break sometimes. Due to this reason, the woman can face primary ovarian insufficiency syndrome however the chances of happening this are still far less.


2. Toxins 

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are one of the common causes of having toxins induced ovarian insufficiency. This happens because both these therapies can damage genetic material in the cells that are responsible to create ovarian cells. It leads to ovarian failure and thus could also increase levels of toxins in the ovaries. Toxins can include the following-

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Viruses that increase chances of ovary failure

3. Due to an autoimmune response on ovarian tissue

Sometimes it could be because of antibodies present in your body that attacks your own system. This is also called as the condition of autoimmune disorder; if this attacks ovary tissues then it can affect its ability of make estrogen in the body. The immune response produces antibodies against your ovarian tissues that lead to harm in the egg-containing follicles. Even though it is not clear the exact trigger of immune response but it can surely expose the body to different kind of virus attack.

Also Read- 5 Things to Know If You Are Having a High-Risk Pregnancy

4. Due to other factors

Some other factors may also lead to ovary to be vulnerable to underlying health issues, virus, bacterial growth and other conditions. As a result of this, it makes them even more difficult to get. If the primary ovarian insufficiency is not caused because of above mentioned reasons, then it is important to get a good diagnosis by specialist in order to understand the cause of this problem.

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