Early / Premature Menopause / Premature Ovarian Failure ( POF)


The definition of POF / premature menopause is onset ( no menstrual periods for 12 successive calendar months ) at aged less than 40 years.


Unfortunately, there is a huge spectrum of variation with young women who may present in their late teens, through early twenties and early thirties.

Some, but NOT all may have symptoms of sweating and if there is an unexpected cessation of periods , particularly in the preceding 12 months this MUST be investigated and evaluated.

In contrast to women presenting at the 'usual age of onset ' ( circa 50 years), this diagnosis rests also on blood tests and FSH evaluations . Indeed this may be a critical test , if there are any concerns , even in a shorter time frame of having no periods.


This diagnosis has huge implications in terms of investigation, treatment and fertility options . Fortunately , we have really progressed and whereas fertility was hitherto not an option, there are clears options now for egg donation and IVF.


For women, the clear indication for treatment IS HORMONE replacement that can include either the OCP ( the 'pill'), or HRT and those options need to be discussed . Unlike in the typical ' post age 50' group , the same risk price / concerns do not apply and the evidence favours treatment in all.






Meet the consultant

Dr Maeve Durkan
MBBS.(Hons), FACP, Mmed.Ed

Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism

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