Premature Ovarian Failure Video Provides Information and Hope For Those Hoping to Start a Family

(Purchase, NY)  In a recent educational video by The American Fertility Association (http://theafa.org/), titled Premature Ovarian Failure, Craig Witz, M.D. of the Houston Fertility Institute discusses symptoms and treatment options for women who receive a diagnosis of premature ovarian failure (POF). The video, funded by the Attain Fertility® Network, is part of a series that addresses a wide range of fertility issues and options for people hoping to have a baby. The Houston Fertility Institute is part of the Attain Fertility Network.

In the video Dr. Witz discusses the symptoms associated with premature ovarian failure (POF), known causes and information about if and how women with POF can become pregnant.  While often a devastating diagnosis, he assures viewers that even though a small percentage will become pregnant naturally, women do have an excellent chance of conceiving with the help of fertility specialists and infertility treatments.

Premature ovarian failure, better described, Dr. Witz states, as primary ovarian insufficiency, is the early depletion of oocytes (eggs) in the ovaries of women of child-bearing age.   Often mislabeled as early menopause, women with POF may present without having menstruated for a long period of time (at least 4 months). However, these women, unlike post-menopausal women, MAY continue to have some ovarian function.  Dr. Witz says, “Twenty-five percent of the women will still ovulate and five to ten percent with POF can get pregnant. Menopausal women, on the other hand, are done menstruating and will not get pregnant.”

According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development approximately 250,000 women under the age of 40 in the United States have POF. Common symptoms can include:

  • Cessation of menses for 4months
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings or being “cranky”
  • Low estrogen levels
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty with intercourse/vaginal dryness
  • Infertility

If a woman thinks she may have Premature Ovarian Failure, it is strongly recommended that she be tested by either her gynecologist or a reproductive endocrinologist.  There are numerous tests that will be considered, including testing for:

In addition Dr. Witz suggests a genetic test to confirm that they aren’t at risk for rare forms of ovarian cancer. He also discusses a gene that is carried by a woman’s mother that may affect her sisters. In addition, this gene may lead to a rare neurologic disease if it is carried by her father.

When diagnosed, hormone replacement therapy may be recommended.  Dr. Witz assures viewers that the clinical situation of hormone replace therapy in women with POF is different than conventional treatment given to older, menopausal women. “We are truly replacing the hormones for a group of women who would normal still be ovulating and producing these hormones naturally,” explained Dr. Witz.  However, there is no treatment that will restore normal ovarian function.

Dr. Witz also warns that, although a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant if she has POF are greatly decreased, it’s not impossible. She should continue to use contraceptives if she is not ready to become pregnant.  For those who hope to have a baby, fertility treatments have proven to be successful with IVF treatment  using donor eggs producing excellent pregnancy rates.

About IntegraMed America, Inc.

IntegraMed is a leader in developing, marketing and managing specialty outpatient healthcare facilities, with a current focus on the fertility and vein care markets.  IntegraMed supports its provider networks with clinical and business information systems, marketing and sales, facilities and operations management, finance and accounting, human resources, legal, risk management, quality assurance, and fertility treatment financing programs. 

Attain Fertility Network, an IntegraMed Specialty, is the nation’s largest fertility center network, with 14 company-managed partner centers and 28 affiliate centers, comprising over 130 locations across 34 states and the District of Columbia.  Nearly one of every four IVF procedures in the U.S. is performed in an Attain Fertility Centers network practice.

Vein Clinics of America, an IntegraMed Specialty, is the leading provider of specialty vein care services in the U.S. The IntegraMed Vein Clinic network operates 44 centers across 14 states, principally in the Midwest and Southeast.

For more information about IntegraMed please visit: www.integramed.com for investor background, www.attainfertility.com for fertility, or www.veinclinics.com for vein care.

About The American Fertility Association

The American Fertility Association is committed to preventing infertility whenever possible and to helping people build families of choice, particularly when faced with infertility.  AFA services and materials are provided free of charge to consumers and available to everyone without reservation. Contact The American Fertility Association at info@theafa.org, visit www.theafa.org or call 888.917.3777.