Learning that you have premature ovarian failure may be emotionally difficult. But with proper treatment and self-care, you can expect to lead a healthy life.
- Learn about alternatives for having children. If you'd like to add to your family, talk to your doctor about options such as in vitro fertilization using donor eggs or adoption.
- Talk with your doctor about the best contraception options. A small percentage of women with premature ovarian failure do spontaneously conceive. If you don't want to become pregnant, consider using birth control.
- Keep your bones strong. Eat a calcium-rich diet, do weight-bearing exercises such as walking and strength-training exercises for your upper body, and don't smoke. Ask your doctor if you need calcium and vitamin D supplements.
- Keep track of your menstrual cycle. If you miss a period while taking hormone therapy that causes you to have a monthly cycle, get a pregnancy test.
If you'd hoped for future pregnancies, a diagnosis of premature ovarian failure can bring on overwhelming feelings of loss — even if you've already given birth. Grieving is normal.
- Be open with your partner. Talk with and listen to your partner as you both share your feelings over this unexpected change in your plans for growing your family.
- Explore your options. If you don't have children and want them, or if you want more children, look into alternatives to expand your family, such as donor-egg in vitro fertilization or adoption.
- Seek support. Talking with others who are going through the same thing can provide valuable insight and understanding during a time of confusion and uncertainty. Counseling might help you adjust to your circumstances and the implications for your future. Ask your doctor about national or local support groups or seek an online community as an outlet for your feelings and a source of information.
- Give yourself time. Coming to terms with your diagnosis is a gradual process. In the meantime, take good care of yourself by eating well, exercising and getting enough rest.
Oct. 27, 2016
- Nelson LM. Clinical manifestations and evaluation of spontaneous primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 2, 2016.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists — Committee on Adolescent Health Care. Committtee Opinion No. 605. Primary ovarian insufficiency in young women and adolescents. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2014:123:193.
- Nelson LM, et al. Management of spontaneous primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 2, 2016.
- De Vos M, et al. Primary ovarian insufficiency. The Lancet. 2010;376:911.
- Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. Institute of Medicine. http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/reports/2010/dietary-reference-intakes-for-calcium-and-vitamin-d.aspx. Accessed Aug. 3, 2016.
- Welt CK. Pathogenesis and causes of spontaneous primary ovarian insufficiency (premature ovarian failure). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 2, 2016.
- Coddington CC III (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 15, 2016.
Premature ovarian failure