POI Could Be Why You’re Not Getting Pregnant - Large

Your dream to have a baby may not be coming true because of Primary Ovary Insufficiency (POI), also called Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. POI is a condition in which a young woman's ovaries stop working normally, affecting how the ovaries produce hormones or eggs.

Some known causes of POI include:

  • Genetic conditions, such as Turner syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, or galactosemia
  • Toxins that affect the ovaries, such as from radiation or chemotherapy
  • Infections that damage the ovaries, such as mumps
  • Surgery on the ovaries
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Problems with hormones that regulate the ovaries, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Thyroid disease
  • Eating disorders

But in most cases, the cause of the condition isn’t known.

POI and fertility

“POI should not be confused with menopause,” says JT Thomas, MD, an OB/GYN with Magnolia Women’s Health. “Age 40 usually marks the start of irregular menstrual periods that signal the onset of menopause. But POI causes irregular periods and reduced fertility for women younger than 40, some as young as teenagers.”

Treatment of another health condition may help treat POI.

A woman who’s gone through menopause will never have another normal period and can’t get pregnant. But a woman with POI may still have periods, even though the periods might not come regularly. She may still have the ability to get pregnant.

“Women who have POI often have trouble getting pregnant but about 5 to 10 percent get pregnant naturally,” says Dr. Thomas.POI Could Be Why You’re Not Getting Pregnant - In Content  

Women with POI may not be able to get pregnant with their own eggs, but can achieve pregnancies with reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization with donor eggs. A reproductive endocrinologist can explain this option in detail In some women, treatment of another health condition may help treat POI. For example, treatment of thyroid disease or an eating disorder may reduce the symptoms of POI.

Many health conditions other than POI can cause irregular periods. Consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to see if you have POI and to learn the next steps.

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