Our #1 hope is that through a diagnosis of premature ovarian failure or POF, you find a way to have hope and cope! There are many paths to parenthood and you are welcome to take any one of them! Yet, coming to this understanding can take time. So, we are here to help you learn about your fertility health issue, seek answers, and feel empowered to make natural fertility health choices for yourself no matter the path you choose.
Never let the odds
keep you from doing
what you know in your heart
you were meant to do.
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Premature ovarian failure is perhaps one of the more perplexing fertility health diagnoses. First of all, you hear the word failure. That’s never positive. Second, you’re faced with the reality that the main female organs necessary to be able to conceive naturally, the ovaries that produce the egg, aren’t functioning properly. Third, you wonder why and what to do next. Enter a flood of emotions!
We regularly hear from women after their premature ovarian failure (POF) diagnosis who share with us the heartbreak they feel. Often these emotions leave women wondering and then asking us, “Will your programs or products work for me?”, “What do I have to take to cure POF?”, “Can I get pregnant?”. The hard part, perhaps the hardest part of the jobs we do, is that we don’t know! It’s beyond our human powers to say yes or no.
It’s really easy to suggest that someone stop drinking soda or coffee when we have studies about how sugar and caffeine can negatively impact fertility health. Suggesting foods to add to a Fertility Diet that support healthy fertility is easy too. What is not as easy, is helping someone address the emotions they have after a recent diagnosis or disappointing fertility-related experience (doctor’s visit, testing, pregnancy loss, POF diagnosis, etc.).
What we do know is that there is no harm in becoming healthier, as healthy as you can, as you work your way through all aspects of a diagnosis like POF. This is also the easy part. There are many tools available to you to help you become as healthy as possible on your fertility journey with POF.
Moving Forward After POF Diagnosis
1. Try to determine the cause.
Chromosomal defects, exposure to toxins, thyroid dysfunction, eating disorders, or autoimmune disease(s) can all be causative. That said, it is possible to develop premature ovarian failure, but have no known cause as well. Your doctor might recommend further testing to find the cause.
2. Support the body’s natural functions – menstruation and ovulation.
Having an irregular cycle and occasional periods is common for women with POF. It’s important for you to know that women with irregular cycles can still become pregnant.
“For young women with POF menstrual cycles can still occur even years after the diagnosis and 10% of women with POF will conceive on their own. This is likely due to ovulation of a healthy egg even after months of skipped menses.” ~ AmericanPregnancy.org
With irregular cycles, vital steps to improve your fertility with POF include:
- nourishing the endocrine system
- improving Egg Health
- maintaining optimal health of the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus
- charting the cycle to detect ovulation
- managing stress
- trying Acupuncture
A good place to start might be a Fertility Cleanse along with Self-Fertility Massage. I would also suggest getting to know this educational piece well, our guide Understanding Premature Ovarian Failure.
Women with POF may still have functional follicles remaining in the ovary. In fact, it is believed that roughly 75% of women with POF still have functioning follicles. That is really positive, as is the fact that there is a 5%-10% chance of spontaneous conception despite having POF. Ladies, this is why doing all that you can to support your fertility and understand when ovulation happens is SO important!
On that note, it will also be important to assure that sperm is waiting for the egg that might ovulate (the reason charting the cycle is important). Sperm can live in a woman’s reproductive system for 3 to 4 days, so intercourse 2 or 3 times during the week of ovulation (and most certainly on the three days before and day of ovulation, if male fertility health is optimal) will be important.
3. Support your emotional health.
While all fertility health issues present challenges, I venture a guess that being under the age of 40 and hearing that your ovaries aren’t functioning is by far one of the hardest things to hear.
Emotional health is one of the most important aspects of overall health to address, especially fertility health. Each natural fertility program should in part focus on emotional health, especially when diagnosed with a fertility health issue that is as mysterious as POF.
“The risk of infertility and other complications arising from low estrogen levels causes some women to become depressed or anxious,” shares the Mayo Clinic. Feeling depressed, anxious, impatient and/or having feelings of urgency (like you must get started on a program right away), are all indicators of the necessity of an emotional-support component in your natural fertility program. This could be…
- a guided meditation like Circle+Bloom’s Natural Cycle for Fertility Mind-Body Program
- positive Affirmations
- counseling/talk therapy
- Fertility Yoga
- the Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT
- herbal support from Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) or Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
- homeopathic remedies like Rescue Remedy, Bleeding Heart (offers unconditional love and may help release emotional attachment to something or an outcome, and heartache) or Sycamore (to offer the sense of being carried)
“It’s important to understand and grieve for this loss of ovarian function and to seek counseling if you need it.” ~ Americanpregnancy.org
Determination is Key!
While POF is often difficult to address naturally, women with POF can achieve their dreams if they are determined to stick to a natural fertility program and open to all of the options available to help them in achieving their dreams of motherhood. Be open to Combining Natural & Medical Approaches to Fertility as well. A Fertility Consultation could also be a good choice for more specialized suggestions for your specific situation.
Most of all feel empowered to naturally support your fertility health and keep hope alive!
- A Comprehensive Guide to Living with Premature Ovarian Failure. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.theinfertilityvoice.com/premature-ovarian-failure-faq-guide/
- Barton-Schuster, D. (n.d.). Understanding Premature Ovarian Failure. Retrieved from: http://natural-fertility-info.com/premature-ovarian-failure.html
- Harris, L. (April 30). Premature Ovarian Failure (POF); New Hope for Infertile Young Women. Retrieved from: http://www.chimedicineworks.com/index.php/health-programs/fertility-enhancement-acupuncture/health-issues-that-effect-fertility/premature-ovarian-failure-pof/?doing_wp_cron=1480969733.9866170883178710937500
- Pellegrini, V. A., Nelson, L. M., & Calis, K. A. (2016, November 23). Ovarian Insufficiency: Background, Pathophysiology, Spontaneous Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. Retrieved from: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/271046-overview
- Premature Ovarian Failure: Premature Menopause. (2015, November 20). Retrieved from: http://americanpregnancy.org/womens-health/premature-ovarian-failure/