What’s My Fertility at CHR
Premature ovarian aging (POA) and infertility
Balancing professional ambitions with personal plans has become more challenging for women, as they increasingly pursue professional careers. Focusing on career goals during twenties and early thirties often works out, but what happens if things don’t go according to plan?
Premature ovarian aging (POA), independent of race and ethnicity, affects approximately 10% of all women, making conception increasingly more difficult as time goes by. (Recent publications, confirmed by CHR investigators, suggest that the prevalence of POA in women of Asian-Indian descent may be even higher). Currently, many women with POA are diagnosed only in their late thirties and forties, when they suddenly discover that they have difficulty conceiving.
As women in the U.S. and many other countries are having children later and later in life, this problem has greatly increased. Late diagnoses are further enhanced by increased utilization of long-tern hormonal contraception methods, which hide early signs of POA. As a consequence, by the time women receive a diagnosis of POA, they often require in vitro fertilization (IVF) to conceive and, in most severe cases, even IVF with use of donor eggs to build families.
Prospective risk screening for POA
Since CHR is well known for special expertise in treating women with POA, CHR physicians see such patients on a daily basis. It was this repeated experience of seeing affected women, often emotionally devastated when told of their diagnosis at advanced ages, that created the motivation to seek a method of early diagnosis of POA, offering women more and better choices. Since POA develops insidiously (without very obvious symptoms), CHR investigators concluded that only a prospective risk-screening algorithm would offer hope of early diagnoses.
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Last Updated: June 5, 2015