DHEA & Fertility

DHEA Research & Patents

CHR was the first fertility center to develop the concept of using DHEA treatment for infertility.

The story of DHEA began with a very important lesson, taught to us by one of our 42-year-old patients. This patient had diminished ovarian reserve and failed to produce enough embryos during IVF cycles. On her own, she started supplementation with DHEA. When her oocyte (egg) yield greatly increased in subsequent IVF cycles, we started to question what was going on. She then informed us of her DHEA regimen.

After approximately four months of DHEA supplementation, her 42-year-old ovaries were behaving like those of a much younger woman. Since then, we have been diligently investigating DHEA and carefully analyzing outcomes, steadily publishing our DHEA research results and applying the new knowledge to clinical practice.

(In this Today Show segment, Dr. Gleicher and the patient discuss the discovery of DHEA use for female fertility.)


Rare among private fertility centers, CHR is committed to fertility research and education, which we believe helps us deliver the best, most innovative, up-to-date care to our patients.

Research by CHR's world-renowned physicians — Dr. Norbert Gleicher, Dr. David H. Barad and Dr. Vitaly A. Kushnir — as well as our PhD-level laboratory staff and statistician appear frequently in the most prestigious medical journals in reproductive medicine. All of our doctors are frequently invited to present their research at international fertility conferences.

CHR publishes research on a wide range of fertility topics, including DHEA's effects on female fertility. Our pioneering and groundbreaking research into DHEA first appeared in the April 2005 issue of Fertility and Sterility, and since then we've continued to research DHEA and its effects on women with DOR.

To chronicle our clinical research into DHEA, we put together a definitive list of all our DHEA-related publications here. For a complete list of CHR's scientific publications, please refer to our publications list.


We are very proud that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued us four patents regarding the use of DHEA for infertility. After years of hard work and research, the approval of these patents was a milestone for our research team.

  • #7615544: Method of improving cumulative embryo score and quantity of fertilized oocytes, increasing euploidy rate and of normalizing ovarian function using an androgen such as dehydroepiandrosterone
  • #8067400: Androgen treatment in females
  • #8501718: Androgen treatment in females
  • #8501719: Androgen treatment in females

Read more about DHEA Treatment

Last Updated: November 15, 2014

Additional Resources

What happens to ovaries during female-to-male transition Changes in the ovaries during gender transition taught us about androgens’ role in female fertility This is, indeed, a very


Why CHR is such a different fertility center Fertility center with a unique institutional structure When looking at what differentiates fertility centers, all starts with ownership and ...

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1/3 of women who have been told they need egg donation actually wind up conceiving at the CHR with their own eggs.