Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)

Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), frequently referred to as premature menopause, occurs below the age of 40 and affects around 1 in 100 girls and women in the UK.

POI can occur as a result of surgical or medical treatment for other conditions (e.g. endometriosis, cancer, PMDD), can be associated with autoimmune disease (e.g. hypothyroidism, Addison’s Disease) or genetic abnormalities (e.g. Fragile X Syndrome), or, rarely, may occur following severe infection (e.g. tuberculosis, malaria). However, for the vast majority of women no cause for POI is found. This is then known as spontaneous, or idiopathic, POI.

Specialist management of POI is necessary, not only to help alleviate associated symptoms but also to reduce the risk of chronic disease (in particular heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia) in later life.

Hannah has personal experience of surgical POI, having undergone a total hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the womb, fallopian tubes and both ovaries) at the age of 35. She sees patients from across the POI spectrum. 

Infertility can be a distressing consequence of POI. Please note that Hannah is not a fertility expert. If necessary, onward referral to specialists in this area can be made.