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  • Writer's pictureJessica Kennedy, CFCP

DHEA, Infertility, Autoimmune, and Miscarriage-All Part of the Problem, But There Can Be A Solution

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Modern fertility treatment often uses medications designed to assist with ovulation. While these medications are helpful for many women, they may not solve the issue of a less than optimal egg being released at ovulation. While these medications may allow for easier conception, they may come with challenges, carrying a pregnancy to term. There is evidence that some supplements may help to correct deficiencies and improve the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy.

DHEA has been a supplement that has gotten a lot of publicity lately in the infertility world. It has helped many women with low AMH tests and low ovarian reserve achieve pregnancy naturally. The institutions currently studying DHEA are IVF clinics. They are seeing good outcomes with supplementing DHEA and pregnancy.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone precursor that is produced by the adrenal glands and ovarian follicles. It helps with the production of estrogen and testosterone as well as the early development of ovarian follicles. If for any reason DHEA is low, it will cause a lower follicle count as well as a low AMH test result, meaning low ovarian reserve. As we age DHEA naturally decreases. It also tends to be low in young women with autoimmune disorders such as thyroid, arthritis, and antibodies that attack the adrenal glands. This can be difficult news for women trying to conceive.

There have been several hopeful outcomes from studies of DHEA supplementation for women with a low ovarian reserve and low AMH. In the studies, DHEA supplementation has increased ovarian reserve and the early development of ovarian follicles. The studies have also shown an increase in achieving pregnancy naturally.

You should talk to your doctor about DHEA before taking it. This is crucial, since it is a hormone. Your DHEA and testosterone should be monitored before and during treatment. It can take up to three cycles before seeing any improvement because it takes three months for new follicles to develop. Studies have also shown a lower miscarriage rate with DHEA supplementation vs. without supplementation.

There are different answers to different problems. We are finding there are many different things that can cause infertility or cause miscarriage. You never know what the answer is until you seek the answers. If you want to learn more about your fertility or what is causing your infertility, reach out to one of our practitioners to schedule an introductory session.

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