Update on primary ovarian insufficiency

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Purpose of review

Despite an incidence of 1% among women under the age of 40, primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is still poorly understood. As the variable cause and presentation of POI complicate its management, a standard regimen for treatment remains to be established. However, emerging research has provided new insight on current mainstays of treatment as well as novel management approaches and therapeutic interventions.

Recent findings

Recent clinical trials in women with POI indicate that the widely used regimen of transdermal estradiol and medroxyprogesterone acetate restores bone mineral density to a level equal to women with normal ovarian function. Further research verifies that compounded bioidentical hormones and androgen supplementation are inadequate in treating POI and lowering risk for long-term sequelae. Additionally, assessing changes in bone turnover markers may be useful for monitoring bone mineral density. Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, dehydroepiandrosterone, and bupropion may be effective in treating the effects of estrogen deficiency at some level, but require further investigation.


Recent updates show promise in improving management methods and reducing risk of long-term sequelae. Additional research that expands upon the most current literature is critical to achieve an evidence-based standard of best practice.

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