Premature ovarian failure (POF), at one time called premature menopause, describes a stop in the normal functioning of the ovaries in a woman younger than age 40. Symptoms can include irregular periods, hot flashes and night sweats, decreased interest in sex, pain during sex, drying of the vagina, and/or infertility. One of the main markers used to identify POF is the FSH/LH ratio (Follicle Stimulating Hormone to Lutenizing Hormone ratio).
According to the one definitive study (completed in 1986), POF affects 1 in 1000 women between the ages of 15 and 29, and 1 in 100 women between the ages of 30 and 39. There are, however, indications that the incidence of POF exploded since the completion of that study over 20 years ago (such as a Turkish study in 1995 that found rates more than 600% higher). But even at the lower rates, POF affects some 250,000 women in the United States alone (and at the higher rates, well over 1,000,000 women).
POF is often related to a sustained estrogen dominance that figuratively “burns out” the ovaries.
Use of an all natural progesterone creme can be extremely helpful in these situations. Although not specific to ovarian failure, my Barron Report on estrogen dominance and progesterone provides a background for understanding the problem. But in short…
The hypothalmus monitors for both estrogen and progesterone levels. When progesterone fails to rise as part of the normal cycle (as when the body is in estrogen dominance), the hypothlamus signals the pituitary (by releasing gonadotropin-releasing hormone) to make more FSH. The increased FSH results in more estrogen production, throwing the body further into estrogen dominance. Given enough time, the ovaries eventually “crash.”
Again, supplementing with natural progesterone can break that cycle and help return the hormonal balance to normal. If estrogen is required to jump start the ovaries again, consider using estriol creme since it is gentle and cancer protective.