The incidence of premature ovarian failure (POF) or the early menopause is on the increase, however, there is still hope for women who want to have a baby, says a new review published in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (TOG).

POF affects approximately 1 in 100 women and refers to the loss of the function of the ovaries before the age of 40. However, steadily improving cure rates of cancer among children and young women are likely to increase the incidence of POF as the condition has been linked to radiotherapy and chemotherapy, says the review. Previous studies have found that 8% of all survivors of childhood cancers experience non-surgical POF and this increases to 30–40% among those who receive a combination of radiotherapy and alkylating agents.

The cause of POF is still largely unknown. The condition is usually permanent but ovarian activity can resume and fertility has been noted among 5–10% of women with the diagnosis. The main symptoms of POF include irregularity of the menstrual cycle, oestrogen deficiency in the form of hot flushes, night sweats and loss of libido …

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Hi - I am Deborah, and was the founding director of talkhealth My blog is generally focused around my own personal story about weight loss, running, exercise and generally trying to get and stay fit, as well as what's been in the news that's topical. Any views expressed are my own.

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