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DHEA & Fertility

Medically reviewed by Norbert Gleicher, MD, FACOG, FACS - Written by CHR Staff - Updated on Nov 15, 2014

Fertility & Pregnancy Benefits

CHR studies have found, and others have confirmed, that DHEA restores healthy androgen levels in the ovarian environment in which eggs mature. This results in a number of fertility and pregnancy benefits for women with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR):

Benefits of DHEAScientific Evidence
DHEA supplementation improves IVF pregnancy rates and shortens time to pregnancy.CHR physicians reported that IVF pregnancy rates were more than double in women who were supplemented with DHEA (28.4%) than those who were not on DHEA (11.9%), in a 2007 study.
DHEA increases the chance of spontaneous pregnancies.A 2013 study showed a similar, almost 2-fold increase in spontaneous pregnancy rates in women with DOR after DHEA supplementation.
DHEA supplementation improves the quality and quantity of eggs and embryos.In a 2006 study, CHR physicians found that patients receiving DHEA supplementation had about 30% more eggs retrieved in IVF cycles than patients without DHEA, and had more than twice the number of fertilized eggs. In addition, women who received DHEA supplementation had more than double the number of normal embryos on day 3, compared to women who did not receive DHEA.
DHEA reduces chromosomal abnormalities in embryos, resulting in lower risk of miscarriages.CHR and a Canadian center collaborated on a 2009 study that found that DHEA reduced miscarriage rates by almost 80%. DHEA’s effects were more pronounced in older women whose natural miscarriage rates are higher than younger women. A 2010 CHR study revealed why: women who took DHEA produced 22% more genetically normal embryos than women who were not on DHEA.
DHEA also improves cumulative pregnancy rates in patients undergoing fertility treatment.DHEA supplementation also improves cumulative IVF pregnancy rates, as women on DHEA produce more and better embryos that can be frozen for later attempts at pregnancy. Furthermore, a 2014 study by CHR investigators reported that DHEA’s beneficial effects may be cumulative, especially in women who undergo back-to-back IVF cycles.
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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.

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