Primary ovarian insufficiency: a more accurate term for premature ovarian failure

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2008 Apr;68(4):499-509. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2007.03073.x. Epub 2007 Oct 29.


Premature ovarian failure (POF) is a disorder with a complicated clinical presentation and course that is poorly defined by its name. A more scientifically accurate term for the disorder is primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), a term that can be appropriately modified to describe the state of ovarian function. In recent years, the known aetiologies of POI have expanded, although the cause of POI in a majority of clinical cases remains undefined. The most common aetiologies should be ruled out clinically including chromosomal abnormalities, fragile X premutations and autoimmune causes. Management should be directed at symptom resolution and bone protection, but most importantly should include psychosocial support for women facing this devastating diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / genetics
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / physiopathology*