Women With Premature Menopause Want to be Mummy

Premature ovarian failure requires alternative family plans

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Menopausal women who expereince premature ovarian failure (POF) should seek immediate help with their family plans.  POF can be a devastating condition, especially for women who have sidelined their family plans to pursue a career prior to having children.

A recent review conducted in Ireland highlights different family options for women who experience POF.

"Women with POF can still achieve pregnancy by egg or embryo donation."

Puneet Arora, Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hope Hospital, Salford and co-author of the review observes that premature ovarian failure is usually permanent, but some ovarian activity can resume in 5 to 10 percent of these cases. 

In egg donation, a woman's uterus must be prepared for implantation. This is achieved by incremental doses of estradiol valerate followed by progesterone therapy. This simulates and creates an endometrium receptive to embryo implantation.

Arora suggests that women who are diagnosed with the condition should seek support because POF can lead to anxiety and depression.

In addition to counseling, women with POF should anticipate hot flashes, night sweats and loss of libido. A drug used in hormone replacement therapy (Premarin) can be prescribed to help with these symptoms.

In addition to hormone replacement, other strategies to minimize the bone loss that can occur with premature menopause include physical activity, a calcium-rich diet, and vitamin D supplementation. Smoking and excessive alcohol use should be avoided as well.

The Study

  • Steadily improving cure rates of cancer among children and young women are likely to increase the incidence of POF as the condition has been linked to radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • Previous studies show that 8 percent of all female survivors of childhood cancers experience non-surgical POF 
  • Those female survivors of childhood cancer who receive a combination of radiotherapy and alkylating agents experience non-surgical POF at a startling 30 to 40 percent
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 26, 2011
Last Updated:
April 28, 2011