Night sweats, hot flashes, irritability, trouble sleeping along with irregular or missed periods are all common symptoms of menopause. In a woman under 40, these symptoms may point to something else – Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI).
“Although we often can’t discover the exact cause of POI, we do know it’s related to the follicles (where eggs grow) in the ovaries,” says McLeod OB/GYN Brad Campbell, MD. “The follicles may not be functioning properly or a woman may simply run out of properly functioning follicles prematurely.”
Certain women may be more at risk of POI, including:
POI TRIGGERS OTHER PROBLEMS
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) seeks to restore hormones normally produced by the ovaries.
Keep your bones strong through weight-bearing exercises, including stair climbing, jogging or walking. Taking calcium and vitamin supplements support bone health.
In addition to physical symptoms, POI can affect a woman emotionally, hurting her self-image causing anxiety and depression. In this case, the physician may suggest some psychological counseling.
ACTION YOU CAN TAKE
A delay in seeking a diagnosis for these symptoms is common. Women under the age of 40, who are experiencing irregular periods or have stopped experiencing periods, should see their OB/GYN. While this is one symptom of POI, it could also signal a range of other health issues. Your physician will help pinpoint the exact problem.
Find an OB/GYN near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National Institutes of Health, The Endocrine Society, The Lancet