Glossary of Medical Terms

primary ovarian insufficiency

A condition in which the ovaries stop working and menstrual periods stop before age 40. Natural menopause usually occurs around age 50. A woman is said to be in menopause when she hasn’t had a period for 12 months in a row. Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats, vaginal dryness, trouble concentrating, and infertility. Primary ovarian insufficiency can be caused by some cancer treatments, surgery to remove the ovaries, and certain diseases or genetic conditions. Also called early menopause, premature menopause, and premature ovarian failure.

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