Ovarian insufficiency happens in women when ovaries do not produce hormones that are responsible to eggs. This can happen due to reduced production estrogen in the body which results to several other problems. In many cases primary ovarian insufficiency is confused by premature menopause however 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. We spoke to Dr. Usha Sharma, Consultant and Gynecologist from Ivory Hospital, Greater Noida to know about this condition further.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Symptoms
As the treatment of this condition depends on the symptoms of ovarian insufficiency in women, it is important to know what symptoms that could hint towards this ovary problem are. Here are some symptoms of primary ovarian insufficiency you must be aware of-
- Having irregular periods after pregnancy
- Skipped menstrual periods
- Hot flashes at night
- Dryness in vagina
- Irritability or having difficulty in concentration
- Decrease in sexual desire
- Problems or not able to get pregnant
Diagnosis of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Since the symptoms of this condition are very common and majority of women have it at some point of time, it is important to get diagnosed. Diagnosis of primary ovarian syndrome can reveal if there are any hormonal issues that are causing this problems or it is because of some other issue.
Diagnosis is done through physical examination first where the pelvic is checked. During this examination, the gynecologist may ask you about your last periods, menstrual cycle, and sexual activity and so on. You may also need to provide with your medical history to understand if there are any prior factors that might be affecting primary ovarian insufficiency.
Here are some tests that doctor might recommend you for further diagnosis of ovarian insufficiency-
1. Pregnancy Test- This test is done to find out any unexpected pregnancy that might be the cause of missing of period. It is mandatory to know about the possibility of unexpected pregnancy.
2. Hormone levels- doctors recommend this test to understand the levels of hormones being produced and present in the blood. Hormone testing is done to find presence of follicle stimulating hormones that is a type of estrogen. This estrogen hormone is used in the production of breast milk.
3. Checking chromosome changes or any type of genetic changes- You may also have to give a blood test in order to know about karotype analysis. This is a unusual form of chromosome that occurs because of changes in chromosomes in few people. Doctor examines the reports to check if there is fragile X syndrome in women that may cause primary ovarian insufficiency.
Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Treatment
There are some treatments that can be effective to treat this ovarian insufficiency problem. Women usually suffer from this problem because of estrogen deficiency, hence the focus remains on treating this problem.
It can help in prevention of osteoporosis and relieve symptoms of primary ovarian syndrome quite effectively. Estrogen therapy is provided in order to treat estrogen deficiency, for this you will need hormone progesterone. Women who still have their uterus attached need to add progesterone in the lining of their uterus in order to cause pregnancy and periods. Precancerous changes might be caused because of taking estrogen therefore consult your doctor before going forward with estrogen therapy.
This involves combination of hormones to come back that may restore your ovarian functions. But it varies in every women and the time taken to restore these estrogen levels may differ. This therapy does not work on women above the age of 51 years because they achieve menopause. In older women, it is hard to restore estrogen levels for long period due to relevant changes in the body. Also it may increase the risk of heart problems, breast cancer and cardiovascular disease in older women.
Calcium and Vitamin D supplement
A more gradual and safer process to restore estrogen levels in the body is through providing calcium and vitamin D supplements. These dietary supplements can aid in preventing osteoporosis and begin the production of estrogen hormones in the body. Calcium and vitamin D supplements need to be given in the quantity of around 1000mg and 800 mg respectively to cure primary ovarian insufficiency disease. Treatment of insufficiency of estrogen hormones can be restored in women from age 19 years to 50 years.
However as the age increase after 30 years, it becomes more challenging to produce estrogen hormones in the body. Take help of a doctor and nutritionist in order to know about the daily requirements of calcium and vitamin D supplements according to your age and production capacity to aid primary ovarian insufficiency.
Treatment of Infertility
Unfortunately, it might be possible that you may have infertility issues because of which you might be having primary ovarian insufficiency. In these cases, it is not possible to restore estrogen hormones or affect regular periods. Since there is no such treatment to cure infertility, you may go for vitro fertilization process in order to give child birth. In this method, donor eggs are used and mixed with sperm in the lab, and then placed in the uterus of the mother. It could be a secondary option if primary ovarian insufficiency is caused because of infertility.
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