Dhea – friend or foe?

Dhea is a hormone supplement that is seen by some as the key to youthfulness.   The side effect to this is that it is supposed to improve hormone levels which in turn leads to an improvement in egg quality in women with low amh.  It is also meant to decrease the risk of miscarriage.  However there is a lot of contradictory research out there as to whether it does do any good or not.   The Centre For Human Reproduction was the pioneer of this treatment yet it has not been widely accepted elsewhere.  As a clinic The Centre for Human Reproduction have some great stats for older women so anything they do cannot, in my opinion be dismissed.  Having said that ARGC who have the best results in the UK don’t recommend it which also can’t be dismissed.  The ladies on fertility friends are never short of an opinion and there are a number of discussions about it on there which are worth a read if you are considering it.

As I have said before when you are diagnosed with low AMH it feels like you have nothing to lose.  Low AMH was for me rock bottom and I was willing to try anything and everything if it might help.  My theory being that if I needed a miracle to get pregnant then anything has got to help, and nothing was likely to hinder me.   However I was recommended I take it by my acupuncturist and having read up on it I am not sure I would start taking it without some medical type input.  Frankly I think I would be too scared of my already slightly dodgy hormones being screwed further.  Now whilst I am obviously not pregnant one of the good things to have come out of our ivf cycles is that my egg quality isn’t an issue now this may or may not be down to the dhea but I have to admit I am too scared to stop taking it just in case.  In fact I did have a little break from it post last summers treatment and working on the 90 days to work through your ovaries theory didn’t restart it 90 days prior to our January treatment which was a disaster.  It’s not scientific proof but in my humble opinion for me it has to be doing something that helps and that’s good enough for me at the moment.

So if you fancy giving it a go I would talk to your doctors and see what they say and if possible get them to source it for you.  I wouldn’t just buy it online but if you do it’s quite hard to find in the UK so you may have to go to a US site.  You need to take 75mg a day, preferably with meals and may want to build up to this dose gradually.   Make a note of how you feel prior to starting it as it can have some side effects that make it not viable for some people, I haven’t felt any different since taking it so cannot comment on the bad bits but acne, hair loss, stomach upsets are some of the problems that people report.   Having said that I think most things can make some people feel bad so it’s only about how you react, and of course hopefully getting pregnant!


About thebarrenyears

I'm a 30 something girl trying and failing to get pregnant.
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8 Responses to Dhea – friend or foe?

  1. amandaduraes says:

    I too have low AMH levels, it’s actually undetectable. My fertiliry doc had me take DHEA for 3 months and then they retested. My AMH levels did increase enough to attempt an IUI. The IUI did not work but it was incouraging to know that my levels did increase some. I did not have many side effects from DHEA just some acne.

    • Interesting mine has never been retested but I think it can only help. Glad you didn’t have any side effects either x

      • amandaduraes says:

        That is interesting. I think they retested to see if it would be worth trying insemination. I have no idea what my levels are at now, I have been off of it for 4 months. Good Luck, I hope you have great results with it.

  2. NanaDoll says:

    ironically my dad did research with that years and years ago for some other study, while i helped him in his lab at a local university. haven’t thought about DHEA in maybe 35 years!

  3. I’m on the DHEA supplement as well. Hoping it’ll help as I move into IVF #2 in June. As you said, with a low AMH you’ve got nothing to lose, so why not try it. Now if only it could get rid of my wrinkles …

  4. Erin says:

    Im on DHEA, my RE puts all his low AMH/IVF patients on it. I think its more accepted by the medical establishment. He also has me taking 400 mg of Co Q 10.

  5. Hi There,

    Our first IVF cycle didn’t work, second cycle with DHEA did, coincidence? Not sure, but it can’t hurt. We are only at eight weeks so we are still holding our breath, maybe if the DHEA does work it will make for a miscarriage free

    Great blog by the way!

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