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Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1650
Orlandini C., Regini C., Vellucci F. L., Petraglia F., Luisi S.
Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) is defined by the presence of primary or secondary amenorrhea, for at least 4 months, before the age of 40 years associated with follicle stimulating homone levels in menopausal range, exciding 40 UI/L. The diagnosis is confirmed by two blood sample at least 1 month to measure the level of FSH (over 40 UI/L) and level of estradiol (below 50 pmol/L). Ovarian follicular dysfunction and/or depletion of functional primordial follicles characterized this pathology. Abnormal bleeding patterns also include oligomenrrhea and polimenorrhea; because of these irregular menstrual cycles during adolescence, diagnosis could be difficult in young women. Excluding the cases in which an etiopathogenetic agent could be identified, such as in case of chemio- and radiotherapy or extensive surgery, women with autoimmune diseases and/or infections, the etiology of POI remains idiopathic. An important genetic component exists, supported by both a frequent recurring familiar event (20-30%) and the association with other different genetic disorders in particular the X chromosome defects and the implication of some different genes with significant functions in ovarian development. For most of the women the diagnosis of POI is unexpected because of there are no obvious signs or symptoms that precede the cessation of periods with a normal menstrual history, age of menarche and fertility prior to the onset of menopause. The diagnosis of POI has a deleterious psychological impact on the emotional sphere of the women affected: anger, depression, anxiety and sadness are common and the fact that the diagnosis coincides with infertility needs a psychological support. Oral hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) administration is not recommended as first choice of treatment because of the higher hormones concentration with respect to the real hormones necessity of the patients and transdermal HRT may be preferred in women with coagulation disturbances to relief symptoms and to improve to quality of life and the sexuality of these women until the age of 50 years old which is the median age of physiological menopause. Moreover it should be considered the associate comorbidities of POI such as bone loss, cardiovascular disease and endocrine disease.