Natural Hormone Produced 6 Fold Increase in IVF Success Rate
Austin, Texas – May 11, 2012– A recent study* has shown that adding the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) to the treatment regimen of patients with poor ovarian reserve may increase pregnancy rates. Dr. Natalie Burger, a physician at Texas Fertility Center, has recently begun implementing this supplement on a trial basis.
“We are excited that a relatively inexpensive option such as DHEA has the potential to help our patients conceive,” Dr. Burger explained.
The hormone DHEA naturally occurs in the body and is known to help improve cognitive skills as people age and to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. DHEA can also help improve strength and muscle mass in athletes. DHEA may also have another benefit for women trying to get pregnant.
According to the research, 33 women with significantly low ovarian reserves were enrolled in the study; 17 received 75 mg of DHEA once daily before starting their IVF cycles. The medication was continued during the treatment phase. The patients who received DHEA had a 23 percent live birth rate, compared with a 4 percent live birth rate for patients in the control group.
“In this small trial, DHEA seemed to have a positive impact on the IVF success rate for a group of women who were predicted to have a very low success rate,” stated Dr. Burger. “Larger studies are needed to determine which fertility patients may benefit from DHEA supplementation and if there are any downsides.”
Because DHEA is cost-effective and readily available at most pharmacies, it may provide another treatment option for fertility patients. Unlike many fertility medications, DHEA does not appear to increase the risk of multiples.
Dr. Burger recommends that fertility patients discuss this option with their reproductive endocrinologists.
“Talk with your physician about whether adding DHEA to your treatment regimen could produce the desired outcome. Before recommending DHEA, your doctor should analyze your history and complete a thorough fertility evaluation.”
*Wiser A, Gonen O, Ghetler Y, Shavit T, Berkovitz A, Shulman A. Addition of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for poor-responder patients before and during IVF treatment improves the pregnancy rate: a randomized prospective study. Hum Reprod. 2010;25:2496–2500.
About Texas Fertility Center
Texas Fertility Center (TFC), one of the nation’s leading full-service infertility practices, provides advanced Infertility and Reproductive Endocrinology services to patients throughout Texas, the Southwestern United States, and the Americas. Since 1980, TFC has been recognized nationally for outstanding pregnancy rates, cutting-edge laboratory procedures, and innovative research programs. For more information, please visit www.txfertility.com.