What is primary ovarian insufficiency (POI)?
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is the loss of function of your ovaries before the age of 40 (markedly earlier than 51, the average age of menopause in women). POI affects approximately 1% of the population, and there are several suggested causes: chromosomal abnormalities, genetic disorders, auto-immune disorders, damage to the ovaries from surgery or cancer treatment (i.e. radiation or chemotherapy), and cigarette smoking.
Because hormonal imbalances may be the cause of POI, hormonal replacement therapy is often recommended by medical doctors. However, estrogen therapy is contraindicated for cigarette smokers, people with uncontrolled diabetes, and those with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
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