The Fertility Center of Las Vegas

Premature Ovarian Failure in Women Under 40

Most women know that getting pregnant after 40 can be difficult, but many are surprised to find that they have premature ovarian failure long before they reach that age. Also called primary ovarian insufficiency, this condition is similar to early menopause in that the ovaries do not produce good quality eggs every month as part of your menstrual cycle. This can make it difficult to conceive a baby when you’re ready.

When to see a fertility specialist

Menopause normally happens around age 51, but in women with premature ovarian failure, it can happen much earlier. Normally, women’s ovaries produce an egg every month as part of a menstrual cycle. When egg production slows down too early, this is known as primary ovarian insufficiency.

For many women, the first sign that something isn’t right is that their periods become irregular. Rather than arriving like clockwork every 28 days or so, your periods might be several days or even weeks late. In some women, periods suddenly stop altogether.

Women may also experience several other symptoms of POI that are related to lack of estrogen.

  • Low sex drive
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Brain fog or difficulty concentrating
  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Painful sex or vaginal dryness

If you’re 35 or older and have been trying to conceive without success for six months, it’s time to make an appointment with one of our Las Vegas infertility doctors. If you’re younger than 35 and it’s been more than a year of trying, schedule a visit to our clinic without delay. Rarely, even very young women can struggle with primary ovarian insufficiency.

What causes premature ovarian failure?

Often, no cause of primary ovarian insufficiency is discovered. However, if you have an autoimmune disorder, thyroid disease, or have undergone cancer treatment, you may be at higher risk.

By measuring specific hormone levels, your doctor can quickly determine if your ovarian reserve, or number of eggs, is normal. A pelvic ultrasound to examine your reproductive organs can also help your physician visualize how many eggs are left in your ovaries. To determine if there is a reason for premature ovarian failure, our Las Vegas infertility doctors may order several other tests, including blood work to check thyroid function and other factors.

If you are diagnosed with premature ovarian failure, you can still become a mother if you wish to. Some women are able to get pregnant with medication and intrauterine insemination. For others, IVF makes it possible to create embryos even with a low egg supply. IVF as a premature ovarian failure treatment is highly effective and has helped countless women grow their families.

If your egg supply is so low that IVF with your own eggs isn’t possible, you can still experience pregnancy and birth with the help of a generous egg donor.

Get help now if you suspect primary ovarian insufficiency

If you think you may be experiencing premature ovarian failure, don’t wait to see if things get better. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances of being able to conceive a baby. Contact us to make an appointment for an evaluation by our experienced Las Vegas infertility doctors.