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DHEA actually does improve egg quality. In this article you will discover the science behind DHEA and exactly who it helps and by how much.
You will also know if DHEA is likely to help improve your egg quality.
The has been much discussion as to whether people should take DHEA. Some countries banned it because it is classified as a human steroid. Most countries have now relented a let people take it.
DHEA stands for dehydroepiandrosterone. It is a hormone produced in the adrenal glands. The body produces varying quantities of DHEA throughout one’s life, converting it to the major sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.
DHEA has been scientifically proven to improve pregnancy outcomes for women with diminished ovarian reserve undergoing IVF procedures. This study titled “Improvement in diminished ovarian reserve after dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation” shows excellent results. From the study it says Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has been reported to improve oocyte/embryo yields and oocyte/embryo quality in women with diminished ovarian reserve. Whether DHEA objectively improves ovarian reserve is, however, unknown.
(Diminshed Ovarian reserve and low AMH levels go hand in hand, if you didn’t already know).
What does this actually mean?
Women with AMH levels of 0.10 ng/ml or 0.71 pmol/l and above, can have a 60% improvement in their AMH levels over a period of 120 days. There is no data for women under this level unfortunately.
What are the real world outcomes?
Normal AMH levels are 14 pmol/l or and above 1.96 ng/ml. You will see when looking at the chart that only 9 of 120 women had their AMH levels return to normal, but there is no baseline for what these women’s AMH levels were to begin with. If the 60% improvement is accurate for these women then they would have started with AMH levels of 9.0 pmol/l or 1.26 ng/ml and above. You will see that on average if you are under 38 (blue line) you are more likely to have improvement than women over 38 (red line).
How does all of this translate into reality?
Taking DHEA will improve your AMH levels but will only get you back to normal if your AMH levels are 9.0 pmol/l or 1.26 ng/ml and above. It does show that it improves pregnancy rates for women undergoing IVF As this study, however, demonstrates, AMH offers objective evidence for the therapeutic efficacy of DHEA in women with diminished ovarian reserve and especially under age 38 years. Moreover, a good AMH response to DHEA supplementation clearly discriminates between good and poor prognosis patients in regards to pregnancy success.
What DHEA won’t do is help women over 38 get their AMH levels back to normal.
Another problem is that DHEA is a naturally occurring steroid in the human body is that many agencies state We strongly advise against taking DHEA, since its benefits are unproven and its potential risks are numerous. There are very few medical indications for it, and in those cases it should be taken under medical supervision. There is no logical reason why DHEA is not regulated as a drug like other sex hormones. Because it’s sold as a supplement, if you did need to take it, you wouldn’t know if it really contained DHEA and in the amount listed on the labels.
This is what to look out for: In women DHEA may cause facial hair growth, scalp hair loss, acne, deepening of the voice and menstrual changes. In men it may cause aggression, breast enlargement, testicle shrinkage and urinary urgency. This tends to reverse after a few months of not taking the supplement.
Science says that taking 75Mg of DHEA daily improves egg pick up rates and pregnancies for women with diminished ovarian reserve undergoing IVF procedures. What it doesn’t say is that it is unlikely to bring AMH levels and egg quality back for natural fertilization outside of IVF. It also doesn’t say that it does not appear to work on women with AMH levels below 0.7 pmol/l.
Should you take it to improve your egg quality? Well at least you know the science and the facts now. The choice is yours.