Even healthy mothers-to-be who do not exhibit signs of low ovarian reserve can be at risk for a failed in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. Even younger women can be at a risk for IVF cycle failures, if not properly evaluated for their ovarian reserve, because most women do not have any symptoms of low ovarian reserve—other than the lower quality and quantity of eggs available for fertilization.
While the number of eggs retrieved in an IVF cycle is an important contributing factor for a successful IVF cycle, the quality of these eggs is also significant. Egg quality represents about 95 percent of the final quality of an embryo. While the quality of sperm is also important, it is far less significant than the negative impact that a low quality egg can have on a developing embryo.
Low quality eggs often fail to fertilize, and even when they do fertilize, they can result in embryos that do not develop properly. This is why we recommend DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, to many of our patients as a way to help improve their overall egg quality prior to an IVF cycle.
DHEA is a hormone naturally produced in the body and can be used as a supplement in order to “reinvigorate” the ovaries and help women conceive despite their diminished ovarian reserve. When CHR first began researching DHEA, we found that DHEA supplementation increases IVF pregnancy rates, especially in women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). Over the years, we have also confirmed that DHEA supplementation improves egg quality, improves embryo quality, reduces aneuploidy (chromosomal abnormalities) in embryos, and reduces miscarriage rates.
By using high quality DHEA, such as FERTINATAL®, along with an IVF protocol tailored for each patient, CHR physicians have been able to achieve groundbreaking results: women with a long history of failed IVF cycles and/or very low ovarian reserve are conceiving in significant numbers at CHR.