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Avatar universal

DHEA?

Has anyone had experience using DHEA as a supplement?  I just met with my RE today, and she's not opposed to it.  I'm wondering how long I should take it before trying IUI or IVF.  My AMH is .01, but FSH and E2 are normal....we're going to try one cycle with Antagon and IUI and see how I respond.   What I've read online about DHEA is hopeful.  
12 Responses
Avatar universal
I don't have experience with it but have also been looking into it because I have borderline ovarian reserve. Someone recommended that I should get E2, DHEA and testosterone tested before taking DHEA though, said it shouldn't be taken unless you are deficient in those hormones. I have an appt with my RE tomorrow and am going to ask him about it as well. Please let me know if you find anything else out!
1629519 tn?1299703788
My dr prescribed it to me the other day. (I am in Canada) as I am diagnosed premature ovarian failure. I will be taking it for 4 months then having my FSH tested again as well as an ultra sound to see if I have more eggs than last time. I was told there are no side effects but am still a little nervous. My dr is very hopeful though :)
Avatar universal
Hi there!  A lot has happened since I posted this comment.... but I'll try to keep it short...  I've been taking DHEA for 3 1/2 months now.  I'm taking 50 mg (25mg 2x a day) and at that level the only negative side effect I have is really oily skin.  I'd say there are mainly positive side effects.  I did try to increase to 75 mg a day and at that level I had heart palpitations and insomnia, but when I went back to 50 mg that disappeared.  So, I think you have to listen to your body because everyone responds a little differently.  I'm sure some have more side effects, some less.
I'm in the US and order mine from www.dhea.com.  Seems to be good quality.
My main concern with it is would there be any long-term problems for a baby if I did become pregnant...since it is so new. I wonder how long it takes to get out of your system after you stop taking it.  Also, some drs seem to think it is helpful, some that it's not...it's so hard to know which opinion is correct.  My RE seems to think it won't hurt, so I'm going with that :-)
I wish I could tell you some results, but I have not had an egg retrieval yet.  Our first IVF cycle was in Feb. with Ganirelix, and I did produce 3 follicles (good for me considering) but I didn't start Ganirelix until day 8, which turned out to be too late because my LH rose too early. So we ended up cancelling the cycle after 8 days of stimms.  Going to try again in a couple of weeks (and they will start Ganirelix earlier and monitor LH every day) and see how that goes.
Good luck!
1629519 tn?1299703788
I am seeing a fertitily specialist and he has a few patients using DHEA. I take it three times a day and will be taking it for 4 months then will take it for two more I think. I haven't really noticed any side effects at all. They make the compound at the pharmacy so I am confident it the quality. I won't be going the route of IVF but if at the 4 month mark there has been an improvment of follicals and a lowered fsh I beleive the dr plans on using some fert treatment to try to conceive. We shall see. I would love to hear more from you since we are on similar journeys :)
Avatar universal
I'd like that!  If all goes well this week, we plan to start IVF #2 on Saturday.
Avatar universal
I also have a very low AMH but my FSH is not a concern,,,, neither is yours I see. I still dont know how accurate the AMH test is and my RE doesn't seem concerned right now. I cant afford IVF but I am starting injectables in a week or so, and I am getting an IUI around May 1. I was taking DHEA for a few months, and I do think it was making my ovarian cysts worst- it raises estrogen and I have a history of cysts so I decided to stop taking it. I also could not tolerate very much as it would give me headaches. I was only taking 25mg a day. I was getting acne and oily skin but nothing severe. I do not think DHEA will hurt you, only help with your fertility. Good luck.
536969 tn?1297471264
I used DHEA and I'm pregnant and 40!  (IVF).  Do NOT take it once you are or might be pregnant...  then you go to DHA.  There is a HUGE difference.  My dr recommended it and a friend who is into natural diet/herbs, etc... sent me an article linking ivf success to DHEA.  Google it, I'm sure you'll find it.  
Avatar universal
That is soooo encouraging.  Thanks!  I'm 38 and trying for our first.  We are starting injections for IVF #2 on Saturday.
Avatar universal
Good news so far!  Last IVF cycle, my E2 on day 4 of stimms (I think it's day 4...started Sat. and tested Tues.) was only 88, and they said they like to see it over 100.  So I went in yesterday for the 1st E2 test of this cycle not expecting much, and they called me later and it was over 230!  I was driving at the time and couldn't believe my ears!  They had me come in for E2 and sono today, and it looks like there are two big follicles and one that could catch up.  Today's E2 is 394!  So I'm going in tomorrow again.  I started Ganirelix already last night.  This cycle is going much faster than last time.  All of the follicles (both times-also got 3 last time) are on the left side.  Endometrioma was removed from my right ovary last Nov., and I think it's down for the count.  So 3 follicles on the left...not bad!
Avatar universal
Quick update...we did the Hcg shot last night, and egg retrieval sched. for Monday morning.  We are hopeful.  My E2 yesterday was 807.  Two big follicles (20) and three that might catch up.  Even one from the right side!
Avatar universal
I wish I had better news, but the cycle was not successful.  At egg retrieval we got 4 mature eggs, but only 2 fertilized (with ICSI) and neither developed into a healthy embryo.  Probably that means the egg quality was low.  
At this point, I'm not sure what to think.  I'd been taking DHEA for over 4 months, and also recently increased my synthroid (I'm hypothyroid/hashimoto's) so I think one or both of those helped increase the number of eggs compared to the 1st cycle (all were from one ovary, so 4 eggs was pretty good for AMH of .01).
As for the quality, I have two thoughts:
1) RE said that I probably do have some good quality eggs left, just not as many compared to poor quality eggs so it's difficult to get them.  So it may be that DHEA and other things we did (fish oil, wheat grass, avoided alcohol) were not enough to improve the egg quality.  I suspect many years of endometriosis affected my egg quality.
2) I have read online the opinion that the high doses of hormones (I was on what my RE considers the max dose of FSH, 300 Gonal-f and 150 Menopur so 450 total) and DHEA (which can be metabolized into testosterone) could be harmful to the egg quality.  Of course I'd like to believe that one, but don't know.
Right now we are just taking a little time and will decide later what to do next.  I'm interested in mini-IVF where you take much lower doses of meds hoping to get fewer but better quality eggs.  Also for us embryo donation/adoption is a possibility.  
I've stopped the DHEA for now, but have read about others who took it and it helped, so not sure...
Good luck!
Avatar universal
Hi there

I posted this thread recently http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Fertility---Infertility---IVF/DHEA-and-IVF/show/416979 and just wanted to say get in touch if you have anything you wanted to ask me about DHEA.  I'm on it again in preparation for next round of IVF.  Wishing each of you all the best  xxxxx
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