Q: My ovaries do not produce enough hormones, what are my chances of having a healthy baby?

A: Ovarian hypo function refers to the under production of hormones by the ovaries. The condition is also called premature ovarian failure. The only known cause of ovarian hypo function are abnormalities of the chromosomes and autoimmune disorders.

Women who have ovarian hypo function may go through menopause much earlier than expected. This leads researchers to believe that the condition could be linked with the under production of eggs at puberty. Women produce all the eggs they will ever carry in one shot. If that number is well below normal, the body will go through menopause early. A follicle stimulating hormone test can be administered to rule out ovarian hypo function. If the condition exists, the FSH level will be higher than normal.

Fertility is a major problem in women with ovarian hypo function. Only 10% of the women diagnosed with the condition are ever able to naturally conceive. If a donor egg is used for fertilization and implanted into the uterus, this number jumps to 50%. Estrogen or hormone replacement therapy can help treat the effects of menopause, but this will not increase fertility.

Once a woman with ovarian hypo function becomes pregnant, there are no contraindication between the condition and the pregnancy. The baby will be carried in the same way as a mother without the ovarian abnormality. Women who are in their 20s or 30s can undergo chromosomal testing for ovarian hypo function. Later in life, women often believe the condition is the same as early menopause and accept it as natural.