How often early menopause occurs
Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is when chronologically young ovaries are behaving older than they are, by about a decade. Ovarian failure before the age of 40 is consistent with a diagnosis of POI. Infrequent to absent periods are the most common presenting feature of POI. Someone with POI typically has low estrogen levels and high levels of follicle-stimulating hormone.
POI affects about one percent of the female population. The prevalence is different at different ages and increases as people get older.
“I just want to clarify,” says Dr. Pal, “that women with POI have about a 10 percent chance of spontaneous ovulation. Unlike age-appropriate menopause, which on average takes place at about 51 years, women with POI still have a few eggs in their ovaries. Their ovaries are just not responding to their own hormones. So there is always a small probability they will ovulate and can even get pregnant. Pregnancy, however, is rare.”