DHEA for Poor Ovarian Reserve and Ovarian Failure

Discussion in 'Infertility Support Forum' started by skisunfun, Dec 16, 2010.


    skisunfun New Member

    Hello Ladies,

    For those of you that read my request last week trying to understand what DHEA does for fertility. I did a ton of research and what I found out is nothing sort of unbelievable. So I did more poking around the web and this is what I found out.

    First you should know I am in what is called Poor Ovarian Reserve or Ovarian Failure so I am a bit obsessed with finding ways to improve my ovarian reserve and increase my egg product and quality (For the record the Docs think this is caused by my weight loss. 110 pounds three years ago. – go figure!). :grr:

    I read this article and then Googled it (DHEA Supplement Could Help Women on Fertility Treatment - EmpowHER.com).

    I also went to the Fertility Forums and asked if anyone was prescribed DHEA or had been using it with positive results. - The answer was a strong yes.

    I looked further in the research study and this is what I found:

    - Patients took 75mg a day of Micronized DHEA (1 25mg pill per meal.) It must be micronized.
    - Taking it with a meal that has a whole vegetable or vegetable oil increased absorption by binding to the veg oil.
    - Original research studies concluded after 2 months showed little to no (major) improvement of fertility only slight improvement.
    - The research study in this article and studies/patient accounts after this study showed women that took DHEA as prescribed above for at least FOUR months showed a threefold chance of carrying a healthy pregnancy to term.
    - The women in the study were age 35 - 45 with FSH of 15 - 20. All women got pregnant and all but one of the women carried to term (19 healthy pregnancies)
    - For the fertility treatment to work you must take the DHEA with a Gondotropin (as did all the women in the research studies) A Gandotropin is something like Gonal-F or Follistim
    - DHEA has also been shown to dramatically improve sperm count, health and motility for men.

    End of the day I started taking Natures Plus DHEA about a week ago. I will post periodically on here with my test results. (Is anyone interested in doing our own research study?? It would be VERY VERY interesting to know how others fare taking DHEA.)

    The pills are small white capsules and I've had no stomach or other complications. I got mine at Vitamin Shoppe. The Natures Plus has Bioperine which helps with absorption.

    Natures Plus: http://www.naturesplus.com/products/productDetail.asp?criteria=search&searchVar=4968&productnumber=4968&category=29

    OH! I was really focused on finding a DHEA that was vegan and pharmaceutical grade that had a certification from an independent lab. When I opened the Natures Plus it had a certificate of authentication stating pharmaceutical grade DHEA. – yay. What ever ones you get make sure they are Micronized and I read that taking the ones labled "Yam" or "Soy" based do not work and that many pills do not have DHEA in them. (See my links and research below)

    Be sure to read this link about a 43 year old that went from producting 3 egg to 18 after 8 cycles:

    I don’t know if it will be a miracle cure. But I’m hoping with taking the Royal Jelly pills, DHEA and all the other stuff I’m doing something magical will happen… soon!

    Merry Christmas,

    Micronization: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MicronizationDHEA

    National Institute of Health: DHEA: MedlinePlus Supplements

    Wikipedia: Dehydroepiandrosterone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Poor Ovarian Reserve: Poor ovarian reserve - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    DHEA: Recent clinical trial by the Center for Human Reproduction in New York showed significant effectiveness. Leonidas and Eudoxia Mamas report six cases of premature ovarian failure. After two to six months of treatment with DHEA (Two 25 mg capsules daily in five cases and three 25 mg capsules daily in one case.) all women conceived. One delivered via C-section, one aborted at 7 weeks and the remaining four were reported at 11 to 27 weeks gestation. Ages were from 37 to 40. FSH levels were from 30 to 112 mIU/mL. Ammenorhea ranged from 9 to 13 months. In addition, there is strong evidence that continuous micronized DHEA 25 mg TID reduces miscarriage and aneuploidy rates, especially above age 35.

    1 - Barad, David and Gleicher, Norbert, 2006. "Effect of dehydroepiandrosterone on oocyte and embryo yields, embryo grade and cell number in IVF. Human Reproduction, 21(11):2845-2849. PMID: 16997936.
    2 - (This is a MUST read) http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/pdf/dheafs.pdf
    3 - Barad DH, Gleicher N., 2005. "Increased oocyte production.
    Premature Ovarian Failure: Premature ovarian failure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Over the last five years a Greek research team has successfully implemented the use of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for the fertility treatment of women suffering with POF. The majority of the patients were referred for donor eggs or surrogacy, however after a few months of DHEA administration they succeeded in getting pregnant through IVF, IUI, IUTPI or natural conception. Until now a great number of babies have been born after treatment with DHEA.

    Source: Mamas L, Mamas E. 2009. "Premature ovarian failure and dehydroepiandrosterone." Fertil Steril., 91(2):644-6.

    skisunfun New Member


    shasie New Member

    This is information is amazing. Thanks!
    I took DHEA but I had sleepless nights. I am
    wondering if micronized form would be different.
    I really hope it works for you.

    skisunfun New Member

    Works for guys too

    Thanks shasie. I wondered if anyone was reading this and if anyone would reply!! I did a ton of research and I hope that it works for all of us.

    Did your DH take it too? Looks like it helps with testosterone and sperm...

    The stuff I am taking listed above I got at the Vitamin Shoppe. Wasn't expensive and I am not having issues with it so far.

    I cannot wait to see what my 4 month test results come back with!!

    x-fingers-and-toes New Member

    I had an appt with my RE the Friday before t/giving, and he wants me to do a 3 month break with acupuncture and DHEA.

    I'm not sure what study it was, but it was on DHEA with diminished ovarian reserve (my diagnosis), he had it in his hand, said he'd been reading it earlier, and the results were really positive.

    I got mine at vitamin shoppe too, my acupuncturist seemed pleased that I was on it (she specializes in infertility and had heard good things) but there can be some side-effects, though I've not noticed anything so far.

    leos_try New Member

    currently taken DHEA

    My Dr recommended DHEA. So I went immediately out and got some. Started in Sept at 50 mg per day. BW showed improvement of the levels. Before starting I was around 130, Oct it jumped to 550 and in Nov to the 700s. But the last 2 IVF cycles were cancelled due to a limited number of follicles and I was on DHEA. My Dr has now lowered my dosage to 25 mg per day and I need to go in for bw again to check the levels. I'm scheduled to do another around of IVF and am hopeful that perhaps I wasn't on DHEA long enough. I'm also taking Royal Jelly in Honey and MACA this time around. Fingers are crossed :cross: for a successful come of more follicles and no cancellations.

    skisunfun New Member

    Thanks for the reply. What is MACA?

    Your doctor lowered you DHEA? Wouldn't he keep it the same or bring you to 75mg... the research shows that for egg quantity and quality imporvement you need to be on 3x25mg per day for at least four months. How long did you take the 50mg for?? And was the type you used Micronized? Also be sure that you are taking it with food preferably a vegtable that has healthy fat for the DHEA to bind too. (That's why the micronized type is best.). - Also make sure it's Pharmaceutical Grade. The type I found and am taking comes with an independent lab certifying that it's clean and contains what is written on the lable.

    I am taking Royal Jelly pills. I couldn't deal with the smell and taste of the stuff straight out of the har. But sadly it's just royal jelly it doesn't include bee pollan which I understand is really good too. <<shrugs>> I'm tryin'!!

    Keep us posted on how your next appointment goes! I would be really interested in seeing if you keep with 50mg a day what you blood work says at 4, 5, 6 + months. If you follow the link above in my post about the 43 year old woman you will see it took her 8 months to go from producing 3 low quality follicles/eggs to producing 18 follicles/eggs that resulted in 16 healthy fertilized eggs.

    Sending you happy baby dust for 2011!! :babydust:

    skisunfun New Member

    5 Days on DHEA

    Ok, So I've been 5 days taking 50mg of micronized DHEA daily. I didn't do the full 75mg because I wanted to see how it affected me as I am usually sensative to any drugs.:dance:

    I had no symptoms until two nights ago when I woke up in the middle of the night 3:30am having the most vivid horrible dream ever. I woke up in tears and just beyond sad having a discussion with my dead mother. It was really aweful because it was so intense I REALLY felt like it was happening for real. :mad: CRAZY.

    Last night I woke up twice having vivid dreams again. Nothing sad or scary just intense.

    I'm hoping that this side effect will wear off if I stay on course. Because the one side effect that I am liking is this general sense of happiness. I'm generally a happy person but the last couple of days I have been extremely positive and I found myself laughing at silly things and a few times belly laughs outloud.

    Who knows if this is all releated to adding the DHEA and Royal Jelly? -- :flower:but I'm liking it.

    :pray:Let's hope it's working on my follicles and eggs too!!!!

    MartySD New Member

    I may have to try this! I'll talk to my RE to make sure it doesn't interfere with anything else I'm taking already!

    Thanks skisunfun! :thankyou: You're research is awesome!! How much does a bottle of DHEA cost?

    skisunfun New Member

    I believe I paid $18 bucks for the bottle at Vitamin Shoppe. Make sure it's the 25MG and not the 10MG ... it will be interesting to see if it does anything for me. I know my body is absorbing it as I am having some side effects but if it makes me kick out a healthy egg that gets fertilized I will be a happy camper! :clap:

    skisunfun New Member

    Interesting description on how DHEA works and types

    I wanted to learn more about DHEA and found this to be VERY VERY interesting ...

    DHEA is called the "mother hormone" because it acts as a precursor to other hormones in the body such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisone, androgen and testosterone, to name a few. The fetus manufactures DHEA, which stimulates the placenta to form estrogen, thus keeping a pregnancy going. Production of DHEA stops at birth, then begins again around age seven and peaks when a person is in their mid-20s. From the early 30s on there is a steady decline (about 2 percent each year) until around age 75 and older when the level of DHEA in the body is about 5 percent of peak.

    Found here: DHEA- Health Encyclopedia and Reference

    What is the Definition of DHEA?

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a steroid hormone made from cholesterol by the adrenal glands.

    Description of DHEA

    The adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. The outer region of the adrenal gland, called the adrenal cortex, secretes corticosteroid hormones that have important effects on the body's metabolism (the process by which foods are transformed into basic elements which can be utilized by the body for energy or growth), on chemicals in the blood and on bodily characteristics such as hair and body shape.

    The smaller, inner region of the gland is called the adrenal medulla, and it functions as the body's first line of response and defense against physical and emotional stresses.

    DHEA is called the "mother hormone" because it acts as a precursor to other hormones in the body such as estrogen, progesterone, cortisone, androgen and testosterone, to name a few. The fetus manufactures DHEA, which stimulates the placenta to form estrogen, thus keeping a pregnancy going. Production of DHEA stops at birth, then begins again around age seven and peaks when a person is in their mid-20s. From the early 30s on there is a steady decline (about 2 percent each year) until around age 75 and older when the level of DHEA in the body is about 5 percent of peak.

    Claims about DHEA

    In the 1970s and 1980s, DHEA was being sold as a weight-loss aid. In 1985 the FDA banned over-the-counter sale of DHEA due to unsubstantiated claims and lack of data on safety and effectiveness for weight loss. Today it is back as a "dietary supplement."

    DHEA has been touted as an "antidote for aging" and a "superhormone" that can help burn fat, build muscle mass, boost libido, strengthen the immune system, prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and non-insulin dependent diabetes, ease the effects of menopause, retard memory loss, help in the treatment of lupus, limit burn damage, combat stress and prevent or slow the progression of Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases.

    Preliminary Research

    There is much interest in the physiology and use of DHEA "replacement" in men and menopausal women. The scientific community and the public await the results of these investigations, but in the meantime, DHEA and/or DHEA-Sulfate (DHEAS) supplementation is not recommended as a therapeutic option in menopause outside of clinical trials.

    Research data in the elderly on both hormonal and immunologic effects suggest that DHEA may become a supplemental treatment for lupus patients.

    Side Effects

    DHEA may have the following side effects:

    • In women:</I>
      • Increased growth of body and facial hair
      • Masculinization
      • Menstruation stops before age 50
      • Decreases levels of HDL cholesterol
      • Increases the risk of heart disease
      • Increases risk of ovarian cancer

      In men:
      • Possible growth of a prostate tumor
      • Prostate enlargement

      In both sexes:
      • Development of liver cancer (in mice)
      • Increases insulin resistance

    There are two types of DHEA available: pharmaceutical grade DHEA supplements and DHEA extracts.

    Only a doctor can prescribe pharmaceutical grade DHEA. Synthetic or pharmaceutical grade DHEA is produced from pharmaceutical grade ingredients. This form is molecularly identical to the DHEA that we produce.

    DHEA extracts are available over-the-counter and are made from the Mexican yam called Dioscorea that contains a sterol called diosgenin which contains about 5 to 10 percent of true DHEA. The other 90 percent of the drug ingredients include varying amounts of other hormones.

    What Questions to ask Your Doctor About DHEA?

    Do you recommend DHEA?

    What are the short-term and long-term side effects?
    Are there any DHEA clinical trials in this area? Do you recommend participation?
    Do you have other patients on DHEA? What changes, if any, have occurred with them?

    skisunfun New Member


    Bea New Member

    Hi ladies!
    I'm so glad to see this thread. I've been reading a lot about DHEA and super interested in it, as well. It sounds really great.
    My levels shot up (over 800 DHEA and 115 testosterone), so my RE wanted me to go down to 50 mg a day. Now my testosterone is 49 (they didn't check the DHEA). For those of you whose doctors prescribed it, have they said what levels they want the DHEA and testosterone to be at? I know too high testosterone is bad, which is why my RE said to lower the dose, but he also doesn't follow all the DHEA research so I don't know what the optimal level is for fertility.

    Baby dust to all! And Happy New Year!

    norril New Member


    Thank you for researching this. I used DHEA for my last IVF attempt. Although I did see much better egg numbers, (8) as opposed to (4), the eggs did not grow consistently and, therefore, my treatment was canceled and IUI was performed. I am attempting again in February. I did not have the detailed guidance on how to take the DHEA which you have so graciously supplied. Thank you. I will begin taking it tomorrow as suggested.

    aebp25 New Member

    DHEA Safety?

    I just tried to buy DHEA at a local Denver health food store and they said they do not carry it due to safety concerns. Does anyone know more about this? Where did you buy yours?

    I am a patient at CCRM, so I was going to double check with them...but any information about why the product was removed from store shelves would be great.

    Omegagirl New Member

    Dr. Surrey (CCRM) gave me an RX for it... he prefers that over the over the counter versions as he says it's more stable... You can also get it at Vitamin Shoppe.... it's a part of our system anyways, so not sure why your store said that.... lame.

    sofia-adam New Member


    hello girls,

    my name is sofia and i live in greece ..
    i have premature ovarian failure and my doctor told me to take 50mg dhea per day + e2 pills
    i have started the treatment for a week now so i dont know if its working yet..
    my fsh was 46,5

    the pills that i am taking have olive oil +dhea

    skisunfun New Member


    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'] [/FONT]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']The reason some stores have taken it off the shelf is due to poor quality management and what it does to the human endocrine system withy many in the medical community believe uncontrolled dosage is very dangerous. Please follow the link to lists of posts. I posted a week or back a chart that shows how the body converts DHEA into Testosterone and other hormones including cortisol (the stress hormone). You and your doctor must keep an eye on how your body is processing the drugs. -- And these are in fact drugs.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'] [/FONT]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']With that said. See my notes on DHEA. Of all the research I have done you will want to make sure you are taking a pharmaceutical grade supplement. See my prior links with the type I found that is independent lab qualified micronized DHEA (I think it’s Natures Promise). -- This is a good point. Whatever you take it should be MICRONIZED for best absorption.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'] [/FONT]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Be sure to check out the chart in one of my earlier posts. VERY interesting read.[/FONT]

    SassyGurl New Member

    Thanks for all the info on DHEA!

    My RE just prescribed it for me yesterday so I've just started taking it and it's nice to be able to read additional info on it. I'm doing the micronized DHEA 25mg 3x a day. I understand it's not available OTC in Canada. In my case, he prescribed it to improve egg quality to increase chance of pregnancy/decrease miscarriage risk.

    For people who've been taking it for a while, have you noticed any side effects (good or bad)?

    skisunfun New Member

    I am experiencing acne and definetly more agressive when I get pushed (hair trigger and more road rage for sure :woohoo: ) ... this is due to the increase of the testosterone per doc so I dropped my amount down to 25mg once a day. I start Gandotropins in a week so it will be interesting to see how it works together. I've been taking the DHEA for a month now.

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