Aetiological profile of women presenting with premature ovarian failure to a single tertiary care center in Oman

Post Reprod Health. 2015 Jun;21(2):63-8. doi: 10.1177/2053369115587419. Epub 2015 May 21.


Background: Premature ovarian failure is estimated to affect at least 1%-3% of adult women. There are several aetio-pathogenic factors that may cause premature ovarian failure including iatrogenic causes, genetic, autoimmune, infectious and idiopathic. The aim of this study was to identify the aetiological profile of women with premature ovarian failure presenting to Sultan Qaboos University hospital.

Method: A retrospective medical record review was conducted from June 2006 to October 2012. All women diagnosed with symptoms and/or laboratory evidence of premature ovarian failure (follicle stimulating hormone ≥40 UI/L and less than 40 years of age) were enrolled in this study. Possible causes of premature ovarian failure were obtained and classified into main aetiological factors.

Results: There were 90 patients during the study period, of which, 39 (43%) were following chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant. The second most common reason was idiopathic (n = 29; 31%) followed by autoimmune diseases (n = 8; 9%) and genetic disorders (n = 7; 8%). Most chemotherapy cases (69%) were among the young age group, while in the older age group idiopathic was the commonest (48%).

Conclusion: Compared to the world literature, the most common cause of premature ovarian failure in this study was chemotherapy induced, especially in young girls undergoing bone marrow transplantation. This is due to high prevalence of transplantable hereditary haematological disorders like thalassemia and sickle-cell disease in this part of the world. Current standard of care recommends cryopreservation of ovarian tissue to preserve ovarian function in young girls undergoing bone marrow transplantation for such disorders.

Keywords: Amenorrhea; idiopathic; menopause; premature ovarian failure.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Cohort Studies
  • Developing Countries
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Menopause, Premature*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oman / epidemiology
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / epidemiology*
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tertiary Care Centers


  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone