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Is Surgical Menopause the same as Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)?

Key words: Primary Ovarian Insufficiency. Premature Ovarian Insufficiency. Premature menopause.

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Written by IAPMD
Updated over a week ago

No. Surgical menopause and premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) are not the same. However, someone who undergoes premature surgical menopause (below the age of 40) can be said to have experienced iatrogenic (coming about as a result of medical treatment) POI.

The term POI is usually reserved for girls, women, and AFAB individuals - below the age of 40 - whose ovaries are not functioning as they should. They are unable to produce estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in adequate amounts, and infertility, menopausal symptoms, and associated health risks (e.g. early heart disease, osteoporosis) can result.

POI can occur for a number of reasons including chemo/radiotherapy, infection, or genetic factors; however, the cause is often unknown. POI may also be termed premature menopause, but it is not always “menopause” in the true sense as the ovarian function can fluctuate and may return temporarily (however, this is rare).

Those who undergo a premature surgical menopause and those who experience POI as a result of other factors do have things in common: They may experience similar symptoms associated with an ovarian hormone deficiency, and difficulties relating to psychological adjustment of their diagnosis.

For additional information on POI:

Accreditation: Dr Hannah Short

Visit for lots of evidence-based information and resources for those considering, going through or recovering from surgery for PMDD/PME.

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