Women's experiences of premature ovarian insufficiency: a thematic synthesis

Jennifer Hammond, Magda Marczak

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Objective: Receiving a diagnosis of premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) can be an emotional and distressing experience for women. The aim of this meta-synthesis was to examine women’s experiences of POI both before and after diagnosis to provide new understandings of those experiences. Design: A systematic review of ten studies examining women’s experiences of POI. Results: Using thematic synthesis, three analytical themes were identified, demonstrating the complexity of experiences of women diagnosed with POI: ‘What is happening to me?’, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Who can help me?’. Women experience profound changes and losses associated with their identity that they must adjust to. Women also experience an incongruence between their identity as a young woman and that of a menopausal woman. Difficulty was also experienced accessing support pre-and post-diagnosis of POI, which could hinder coping with and adjustment to the diagnosis. Conclusion: Women require adequate access to support following diagnosis of POI. Further training should be provided to health care professionals not only on POI but including the importance of psychological support for women with POI and the resources available to provide the much needed emotional and social support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
Number of pages25
JournalPsychology & Health
Early online date27 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the creative commons attribution-Non commercial-No Derivatives license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • Premature ovarian insufficiency
  • women’s health
  • fertility
  • identity
  • coping
  • adjustment


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