In a nutshell
This study investigated if dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) improves controlled ovarian stimulation (COS) in women with poor ovarian reserve (POR). They found that DHEA improved ovarian response in these women.
Ovarian reserve is a measurement of female fertility. It tells us of many ovarian follicles a woman has. Ovarian follicles maturate into eggs. Poor ovarian reserve (POR) is one cause of infertility. Women with POR may undergo controlled ovarian stimulation (COS). COS involves taking medication to release ovarian follicles from the ovary. There are several types of drugs used in COS. Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) induces ovulation. This causes the follicles to mature. Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) triggers the release of follicles.
Androgens are hormones involved in ovarian follicle growth. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an androgen. It is involved in the production of male and female hormones. It is unclear if DHEA can improve COS in women with POR.
Methods & findings
This study included 50 women with POR. Patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups. 25 women received 25 mg of DHEA every 8 hours for 2 days before COS. The other 25 women received a placebo before COS. Both groups underwent COS with hMG and hCG. The main outcome was the number of mature ovarian follicles. This is called the antral follicle count (AFC).
DHEA was associated with better ovarian induction responses during the study. AFC was significantly higher in DHEA-treated patients. 20% of patients in the DHEA groups subsequently became pregnant. This was compared to 8% of placebo patients.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that DHEA supplementation improved COS results in women with POR.
The fine print
The number of patients in this study was low. Larger studies are needed.
Published By :
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
May 26, 2020