Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (or Premature Menopause) is a difficult and little understood diagnosis for infertility with ramifications for your general health as well as for your fertility. We talk with Dr. Alex Quaas, a Board Certified Reproductive Endocrinologist with Reproductive Partners of San Diego and an Associate Professor at UCSD.

In this episode, we cover:

  • What is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)?
  • Is there a difference between the labels/diagnoses – Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, Premature Ovarian Failure, Premature Menopause? 
  • What are the symptoms (other than an inability to get pregnant)?
  • Is there a decrease in egg quality and increase chromosomal abnormalities?
  • How is POI diagnosed?
  • How does the diagnosis differ from PCOS?
  • What causes primary ovarian insufficiency?
  • Is there any correlation between POI and taking Accutane (a treatment for acne) as a teen?
  • Is there a link between premature ovarian failure and the HPV vaccine (Gardasil or Cervarix)?
  • Can losing one ovary lead to Primary Ovarian Insufficiency?
  • Are those with autoimmune diseases more susceptible to POI?
  • Can IVF lead to Primary Ovarian Insufficiency? Is there any evidence that aggressive stimulation of the ovaries during a typical IVF cycle can contribute to POI?
  • How effective is IVF with woman with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency? 
  • What are the odds of a spontaneous pregnancy for a woman with POI?
  • What is the role of the infertility nurse in helping women with POI?
  • Is there a medical way to slow down the diminution of ovarian egg reserves?
  • Are their lifestyle choices that contribute to POI or contribute to increasing a woman’s ovarian reserves?
  • Are there supplements or vitamins that help improve fertility for women with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency?
  • Has alternative medical approaches or Eastern Medicine been effective with increasing fertility for women with POI?
  • What are the other health implications for women with Primary Ovarian Insufficiency?

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: Liza Summer