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Premature Ovarian Aging Treatment - POA

Medically reviewed by Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS - Written by CHR Staff - Updated on Apr 22, 2019

After receiving a diagnosis of POA , patients at CHR are given individualized treatment based on their ovarian reserve status and any other factors involved in their infertility condition. A good example is autoimmune abnormalities, which are often found in conjunction with POA.

This individualized and proactive approach—born as a result of CHR's years of clinical research on POA and diminished ovarian reserve (DOR)—and our excellent pregnancy rates as a result of IVF with use of DHEA supplements, even in patients with severe DOR, are what separate CHR from most other IVF centers. This is why we came to be known internationally as "the fertility center of last resort."

DHEA Supplements as an Important POA Treatment Factor

Our success in treating POA patients is partially a result of the introduction of DHEA supplementation by CHR investigators. Today, more than a decade later, DHEA is used worldwide! According to one survey, as of late 2010, more than one-third of the world's IVF centers have started using DHEA. However, DHEA is only a small part of CHR's comprehensive premature ovarian aging IVF program.

The Three Components of POA Treatment

Premature Ovarian Aging Treatment Chart

Although the introduction of DHEA into fertility treatment for women with diminished ovarian reserve has revolutionized infertility treatment, especially for women with POA, DHEA alone has only limited beneficial effects. Beyond leveraging the DHEA benefits on female fertility, a successful, comprehensive fertility treatment paradigm for women with POA has at least three components:

  1. An ovarian stimulation protocol that is adjusted for individual patients' ovarian reserve;
  2. Pre-stimulation supplementation with DHEA with androgen monitoring; and
  3. Highly individualized management of associated medical conditions

DHEA Supplements in Premature Ovarian Aging Treatment

Although premature ovarian aging treatment involves more than just DHEA, let us explain a little more about DHEA (for a more detailed explanation, and a list of CHR's scientific publications on DHEA, please refer to our DHEA page).

DHEA is a mild male hormone. Once in the body, DHEA is converted to testosterone (an androgen, male hormone) and estradiol. For a number of years, CHR physicians have been using DHEA in women with DOR, whether ovarian impairment is due to advanced maternal age or premature ovarian aging. In doing so, we have been able to demonstrate that in such women, DHEA supplementation has quite remarkable beneficial effects, best summarized as rejuvenating ovarian function.

Dr. Nobert Gleicher Explains How DHEA Supplementation is Used in Infertility Treatments at CHR

How DHEA Benefits Female Fertility

As part of a comprehensive, individualized premature ovarian aging treatment plan, DHEA offers a number of benefits, such as:

  • Increased IVF pregnancy rates
  • Increased egg and embryo numbers
  • Improved egg and embryo quality
  • Reduced aneuploidy (chromosomal abnormalities) in embryos
  • Reduced risks of miscarriages
  • Shortened time to pregnancy
  • Increased spontaneous conceptions
  • Improved cumulative pregnancy rates in patients under fertility treatment

In recognition of these claims, CHR was awarded four DHEA-related U.S. patents (#7,615,544, #8,067,400, #8,501,718 and #8,501,719). For more details, please refer to our DHEA page.

Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS

Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS

Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned specialist in reproductive endocrinology, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.