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Might be POF

May 29 2017 at 2:41 PM
Resilient123  (Login Resilient123)

Response to Menopause at age 37

Hi Haz,

From what you described, you might have Premature Ovarian Failure (POF), which is usually diagnosed if your FSH and LH are consistently high (FSH 30 or above; LH 14 or higher) with extremely low estradiol levels.

This essentially points to a depleting ovarian reserve (or significantly low ovarian reserve), which I've been dealing with after having a procedure that impacted my ovarian reserve. (Note POF can be caused by a number of factors - i.e. hereditary disorders, autoimmune disorders, chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments, surgical procedures, etc., but no definite cause has been discovered yet, fyi).

Back in 2015, I met with an RE to conduct a comprehensive fertility work-up. My results were not good. During the initial sonogram, she found a few inconsequential fibroids (thankfully the fibroids were located outside of my uterus) and cysts on both of my ovaries; however, my blood work was normal (FSH 7, LH 5). Additionally, my periods were normal so that too was working in my favor, but unfortunately, I was working with a doom-and-gloom doctor who pretty much scared me into pursuing an unnecessary surgery procedure that removed most of the good tissues (i.e. eggs and follicles) from my ovaries.

Post surgery, I only had one normal period, after that my periods were a no show for 3 months. I met with another doctor who stated that my FSH was 24 and LH 9; my sono identified 2 follicles. At the time, he felt that my body was still recovering from the surgery so he wanted to monitor my menstrual cycles (or lack thereof) for a few weeks before diagnosing me with POF, but based off my blood work and the sono he pretty much felt that it was POF.

To my surprise, my period returned that week and from that point, I began ovulating regularly, which was very important as it indicated evidence of thriving follicles and eggs (despite my low ovarian reserve issues), and my blood work was normal too (FSH 7; LH 5). However, my doctor did warn me that my condition could change as women with POF (and/or low ovarian reserve) can have "normal" cycles for a few months and then regress back to irregular menstrual cycles.

So bringing this back to you, while the causation behind your abnormally high FSH/LH levels and missing periods is different from mine, what you described sounds like POF. That being said, I would strongly advise you to first do your research on POF and then schedule an appointment with your doctor - preferably a RE as they specialize in issues related to women's reproductive system, including hormonal disorders, menstrual problems, and of course infertility.

Also, note that if you do have POF (or experiencing irregular cycles with high FSH/LH) there are options to try to conceive with your own eggs through Natural Cycle IVF or Mini IVF. That's what I'm currently pursuing as I was officially diagnosed with POF after my periods pulled a no-show for a good 4 months coupled with off the charts FSH/LH levels (FSH 93 LH 58).

As part of my treatment, my doctor prescribed birth control pills to help regulate my hormones, which helped significantly! Three days on the pill decreased my FSH to 20 and LH 9. They also found one follicle, and as a result of regulating my hormones and using minimal IVF meds, they were able to retrieve one of my eggs (which was the goal) and fertilize it with my husband's sperm. We presently have one embryo and have 3 more to go before the doctor will move forward with implanting the embryos in my uterus.

While the process is still physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing, it at least provides an additional option that expands my choices beyond donor egg or adoption. And I'm ever so thankful to God for it!

I hope this helps, and trust me when I tell you I know exactly how you feel. With time, prayer (more prayer), and perseverance, you'll get through this and find yourself much more informed and self-empowered to make the best decision for starting your family.

All the best,


 Respond to this message   

  1. Re: Might be POF - Houston on May 30, 2017, 7:26 AM
  3. Thank you - Harriet on Jun 4, 2017, 4:13 AM
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