Premature Ovarian Failure: Causes and Treatment

Premature Ovarian Failure is a leading cause of infertility. What causes this condition and what are the cutting edge treatments that will allow a woman to be able to conceive? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility and adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Timothy Hickman, Medical Director and Co-Founder of Houston IVF. He holds Clinical Associate Professor Appointments at both the University of Texas Medical School-Houston and Baylor College of Medicine. He is a Board-Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist by American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and served on the Executive Board of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology from 2001 – 2011. Additionally, Dr. Hickman has been named a “Top Doctor in Reproductive Endocrinology” by U.S. News and World Report, a “Top Doctor” and “Top Doctor for Women” by H-Texas Magazine and a “Texas Super Doc” by Texas Monthly Magazine.

Hit the Highlights
  • How is Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) defined, because isn’t the decrease in egg production a normal part of aging?
  • I have heard this condition called different things: Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, Premature Menopause, POF. What other names does it go by?
  • How is POF diagnosed?
  • What are the symptoms (other than an inability to get pregnant)?
  • What causes premature ovarian failure?
  • Is premature menopauses caused by genetics, environmental pollution, chemical exposure, lead paint, and/or stress?
  • Have there been any studies done on a link between POF and taking Accutane (a treatment for acne) as a teen?
  • Can losing one ovary lead to Premature Ovarian Failure?
  • Are those with autoimmune diseases more susceptible to POF?
  • Can IVF lead to premature ovarian failure or early menopause? Is there any evidence that aggressive stimulation of the ovaries during a typical IVF cycle can contribute to Premature Ovarian Failure?
  • Is there a link between premature ovarian failure and the HPV vaccine (Gardasil or Cervarix)?
  • Treatments: let’s start with medical (western medical) treatments, and then talk about other forms of treatment.
  • Are less gonadotropins more effective for women with POF, or more?
  • New IVA Study for the treatment of Premature Ovarian Failure.
  • Alternative treatments for Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Are there any diet changes a woman can make to help preserve what ovarian function she has left?
  • Premature Ovarian Failure has other health implications other than infertility. What are they?

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Image Credit: Hey Paul Studios

Show re-aired in 2018.