A Reproductive Lexicon


Ownership of this website has been transferred from Northwestern University to Michigan State University.
Please note that some site information may be inaccurate while adjustments to reflect this organizational change are made.

MOOC Advertisement

Learn More:
Get An Introduction to Reproduction

Learn more about the science of reproduction. Dr. Teresa Woodruff, creator of Repropedia, is offering a free online course exploring the world of reproduction.

Get Started!

premature ovarian failure

Premature ovarian failure (POF) is also referred to as premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency, and it is characterized by the inability to ovulate and an early loss of function of the ovaries altogether due to a lack of or no follicles in the ovary in women who are under the age of 40 (prior to the typical onset of menopause). POF leads to subfertility or infertility and is also linked to osteoporosis and other autoimmune disorders. It can be a result of genetic abnormalities, removal of the ovaries, or prior radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Premature ovarian failure differs from menopause in that women with premature ovarian failure may have occasional or irregular periods and may possibly become pregnant.