Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) can be effective in curing Primary Ovarian Insufficiency (POI) — loss of functions of the ovaries before the age of 40, gynaecologists said on Friday.
According to doctors, POI patients can suffer from loss of libido, infertility, poor concentration and night sweating.
Women during the POI do not have normal amount of estrogen hormone or release eggs regularly. They have premature menopause and stop having periods and cannot get pregnant.
The doctors said HRT is an effective treatment for POI.
“HRT is the best treatment for POI that gives the body estrogen and other hormones that ovaries are not making,” said Sagarika Agarwal, an expert with city based Indira IVF.
Stating that HRT is usually a combination of an estrogen and a progestin (form of progesterone) to regain the patient’s menstrual cycle, she said it also improves the sexual health.
“Progesterone is taken along with estrogen to balance out its effect on the lining of the womb, which even decreases risk of endometrial cancer,” said Agarwal.
Explaining the disorder further, doctors said the entire problem starts due to Follicle dysfunction — a condition in which healthy eggs do not function despite being in the ovary.
“Follicle dysfunction many a times are the major reason in such cases. HRT treatment gives the body the estrogen and other hormones that ovaries are not making,” said Archana S. Ayyanathan, a Chennai-based IVF expert.
According to the experts, among the major causes behind the follicine depletion are cigarette smoking, pesticides and chemicals in the body.
“Normally a woman is born with two million primordial follicles (microscopic seeds which grow into follicles), which may get depleted or not function properly to cause POI. Some women are born with fewer primordial follicles, so they have a smaller pool of follicles to use throughout their lives,” said Ayyanathan.
“Even though only one mature follicle releases an egg each month, less mature follicles usually develop along with that mature follicle and egg. If these extra follicles are missing, the main follicle will not mature and release an egg properly,” added Ayyanathan.