Primary ovarian insufficiency(POI) is a condition in which ovaries of affected women don’t work normally. POI can cause hot flashes, fertility problems, and irregular or no menstrual cycles and also reduced bone mineral density, which can lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures.
POI affects 1 in 100 women by age 40. With no apparent cause, the ovaries of affected women don’t work normally. They stop regularly releasing eggs and produce low levels of reproductive hormones, including estradiol (a type of estrogen) and testosterone (a predominantly male hormone that is also produced by women in smaller amounts).
Hormone replacement therapy regimens have been well studied and optimized to improve bone health in postmenopausal women. But there has been limited research on the effects of these therapies in younger women.
A team led by Drs. Vaishali B. Popat and Lawrence M. Nelson of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) tested the effects of hormone replacement therapy on bone health in young women with POI. The trial was done at NIH’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
This study showed that not only could hormone treatment reduce the rate at which women with POI lose bone mineral density, but it could actually restore bone density to normal levels, Nelson adds.