Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
To help make a diagnosis of premature ovarian failure, your doctor may ask about your signs and symptoms, your menstrual cycle, and a history of exposure to any toxins, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which cause direct injury to follicles and eggs. Most women have few signs of premature ovarian failure, but you'll likely have a physical examination, including a pelvic exam.
Several blood tests are important in making a diagnosis. These include:
- Pregnancy test. Pregnancy tests are often performed to rule out the possibility of an unexpected pregnancy in women of childbearing age who have missed a period.
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test. FSH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland that stimulates the growth of follicles in your ovaries. Women with premature ovarian failure often have abnormally high levels of FSH in the blood.
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) test. Luteinizing hormone prompts a mature follicle within the ovary to release an egg. In women with premature ovarian failure, the level of LH is usually lower than the level of FSH.
- Serum estradiol test. The blood level of estradiol, a type of estrogen, is usually low in women with premature ovarian failure.
- Karyotype. This is a test that examines all 46 of your chromosomes for abnormalities. Some women with premature ovarian failure may have only one X chromosome instead of two or may have other chromosomal defects.
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