Premature ovarian failure: predictability of intermittent ovarian function and response to ovulation induction agents

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Aug;20(4):416-20. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0b013e328306a06b.


Purpose of review: To summarize our current knowledge about the predictability of intermittent ovarian function and the response to ovulation induction agents in patients with premature ovarian failure.

Recent findings: In addition to clinical, histological or ultrasonographic features, a new biological marker anti-Müllerian hormone, was evaluated as a marker for ovarian reserve in premature ovarian failure patients with encouraging results. Moreover, even if no treatment has proven to be effective enough to restore ovarian function, a recent study has presented a therapeutic protocol leading to a significant increase in ovulation and a higher pregnancy rate.

Summary: Intermittent ovarian function can be spontaneously observed in premature ovarian failure patients. Clinical, biological and ovarian ultrasonographic features may allow an assessment of the presence of ovarian activity, but are not necessarily correlated with a higher ovulation or pregnancy rate. Nevertheless, it appears essential to characterize these patients to determine whether some of them could be candidates who benefit from a particular therapeutic strategy, although most such strategies have not yet demonstrated their efficiency.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy
  • Female
  • Gonadotropins / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Ovulation Induction*
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Biomarkers
  • Gonadotropins
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone