“I haven’t started my Periods – could it be POI?”
If you are a teenager over the age of 15 and haven’t yet started your period, or you have started your period but it has stopped, this usually isn’t a cause for concern. Often it can take a few years for your hormone levels to balance out and for your periods to become regular. However, if it doesn’t improve, it could also be a sign that something isn’t quite right and may be worth getting it looked into by your GP.
Sometimes the ovaries do not make enough oestrogen to cause periods because of a lack of follicles within the ovaries. This can be due to various different reasons such as a genetic problem like Turner syndrome, medical intervention such as chemotherapy, or autoimmune conditions, but often the cause is unknown. This condition is called Primary Ovarian Insufficiency, which means that the ovaries have stopped functioning, similar to how they do during menopause.
Often with menopause you associate symptoms such as hot flushes and mood swings, however, if you get diagnosed with POI at a young age, it is common that amenorrhea (no periods) and delayed puberty, are the only symptoms that you will get. A blood test of your hormone levels and an ultrasound scan of your ovaries, will determine if your lack of periods is caused by POI.
So if you have been diagnosed with POI as a teenager, what does this mean for you?
HRT is often the best course of action if you have POI. The hormones will usually take you through to complete puberty, and give your body the hormones that they are missing. A vitamin D supplement is also recommended to protect bone health. Due to the lack of ovarian function, infertility is an unfortunate side effect of POI, and usually donor eggs or adoption are the best future fertility options for girls with POI. We have a forum especially to connect women who were diagnosed in the teens so please join it.
Being diagnosed with POI at any age can be an upsetting and lonely thing. The Daisy Network is a charity to support women of all ages who have been diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency. If you have any questions, or are looking or the support of other women are going/have gone through the same thing, then we are here to help.