Cause of Premature Ovarian Failure Can Vary

Gene mutation, autoimmune oophoritis implicated in spontaneous premature ovarian failure

MONDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- About 6% of cases of spontaneous premature ovarian failure are due to premutations of the FMR1 gene, according to research presented at the North American Menopause Society's annual meeting in San Diego.

Lawrence M. Nelson, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., reported that women with premutations in the FMR1 gene are at increased risk of premature ovarian failure as well as having a child with fragile X syndrome.

Another 4% of cases of premature ovarian failure are due to autoimmune oophoritis, "and these women should be identified because they are at increased risk of developing adrenal insufficiency," he writes.

For years, researchers assumed that spontaneous premature ovarian failure was the equivalent of premature menopause, meaning that women could no longer have children, the researcher writes. "However, it is now clear that the ovarian 'failure' seen in this disorder is not permanent in all women. Evidence suggests that 5% to 10% of these women will conceive without intervention, sometimes years after the diagnosis."

Abstract (P.16)

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