Women generally reach their menopause by the age of 50. In some women by the age of 40, their ovaries stop functioning. This condition is called primary ovarian failure, it is also called as ovarian insufficiency or primary ovarian insufficiency. It is different from menopause because periods do not stop completely, instead the women suffer from irregular or missed periods.
Symptoms of ovarian failure are similar to menopause. Women suffer from hot flashes, night sweat, poor concentration, a dry vagina, decreased sex drive, and even irritability.
One may wonder why ovarian failure happens. We need to understand how an ovary works. The ovary is an organ which has a number of follicles. One or two follicles mature each month and release eggs. For this process the pituitary gland secretes some hormones. In women with ovarian failure, there is loss of eggs. This deficiency may be caused due to chromosomal defects, immune system damaging the ovarian tissue, Turners Syndrome, formation of cysts in the ovary, toxins of chemotherapy or radiotherapy affecting the ovaries and other external causes.
Women who are experiencing any of the above symptoms and have missed their periods for two or three months should visit a gynaecologist. The gynaecologist will recommend some tests to understand whether the patient has primary ovarian insufficiency.
Ovarian failure may cause complications like infertility, osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia and even depression and anxiety.