Source: 恒星英语学习网  Onion  2010-07-20  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

  When Maureen Doherty and her husband got married, she was in her 30s. They were eager to have kids, maybe even a bunch. When she went off the pill at 36 and didn’t get pregnant right away, she didn’t worry much. Her doctor did a few blood tests, just to make sure everything was working fine. But it wasn’t. Doherty got the results in a phone call from a physician’s assistant。

  莫林·多尔蒂和她的丈夫结婚时已经30多岁了。他们渴望有孩子,甚至可能想生一堆孩子。当她在36 岁停止服用避孕药时,并没能马上怀孕,不过她不是太担心。她的医生为她做了几项血液检查,以确保一切正常。但结果却事与愿违。多尔蒂从医生的助手打来的电话中得知了检测结果。

  Doherty: I’m sitting at my desk at work one day, and she calls me and she says to me, ‘I have a little bit of bad news. You’re post-menopausal.’


  Being past fertility was not news the couple had expected. Doherty says reality hit when she was on her way home that night。


  Doherty: I can still remember sitting on the bus and thinking, I’m probably not going to have children. And to hear that, you know, four months after you’re married, it was heartbreaking。


  She soon learn she has primary ovarian insufficiency, or POI. One in 100 women develop the condition by the age of 40. Unlike true menopause, which ends periods and ovulation, POI is trickier. It can come and go. A few women get pregnant. But others who may have missed a few periods in a row, and chalk it up to stress, actually have POI and don’t know it. The cause: usually unknown。

  没过多久她就知道自己得的是原发性卵巢功能不全(POI)。100 个女性中就有一个会在40 岁以前患上这种病。与真正的绝经——月经和排卵停止——不同,原发性卵巢功能不全更加复杂,它会反复发作。一些女性能够怀孕,不过有些女性会以为是压力导致她们连续很长时间没来月经,而实际上她们是得了原发性卵巢功能不全,只是她们不知道。这种病的病因一直不明。

  Dr. Lawrence Nelson studies and treats young women with POI at the National Institutes of Health. He says his patients are often shocked that irregular periods can be a big deal。


  Dr. Lawrence Nelson: There’s this disconnect. The menstrual cycle is just seen more of – as a nuisance. But actually, it’s the sign that the ovaries and the whole endocrine system related to the reproductive system is working the way it should。


  Looking back, Maureen Doherty realizes there were signs her hormones were off by her early 30s. She had hot flashes now and again。


  Doherty: A lot of times, I would be out with friends and I would say: Are you guys hot? And they’d say, no, not at all. And I would think: How could they not be hot? Because I am dying here。


  But each surge of heat only lasted a minute or two, so she dismissed it.Around that time, her periods also became a little less predictable。


  Doherty: I’d have one one month, not the other. And so I just – I mentioned this to the doctor, and she just shrugged and immediately gave me a prescription for birth control。


  Putting a young woman on the pill to even out her monthly cycles is very common, Nelson says. But doctors should be ruling out underlying problems first。


  Dr. Nelson: It might be reassuring to women – oh, it looks like things are fine now because my periods are coming. But in fact, their ovaries are not supplying the hormones to make that happen, so it’s masking the fact that their ovaries aren’t working normally。


  Ovaries that aren’t working don’t produce enough estrogen. And when that happens early in life, the damage can go beyond fertility to also affect bones. 


  Dr. Nelson: The wake-up call we got was about 10 years ago, where we had twin sisters come to see us in our program, at age 23. They both had bone densities of a 77-year-old woman。

  纳尔逊医生:这个警钟是在10 年前敲响的。有一对23 岁的双胞胎姐妹参加了我们的研究项目,她们的骨密度相当于一个77 岁老妇的骨密度。

  Turns out, Nelson says, the twins had menstrual problems during adolescence that were never evaluated. They could’ve grown up with healthy bones, he says, if they’d been prescribed a patch to supply the missing estrogen and progesterone to balance it。


  For now, there’s still no way to reverse POI’s effect on fertility. But Nelson has new research hinting that most of these women might yet be capable of producing viable eggs。


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