Dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, is being taken more and more these days with the idea that this will enhance egg quality and help women get pregnant more easily. Produced naturally in the body, DHEA is a hormonal precursor. It is needed to create and support estrogen and testosterone production, and is highest in women’s 20’s. It is thought to increase fertility by effecting egg count and quality, and therefore embryo quality, lessening the chance of having a miscarriage and increasing the chance of having a healthy baby.
It may make sense to take DHEA if your levels are low and your doctor recommends the supplement. However, in some women it creates symptoms & results that may be irreversible, such as hirsutism (unwanted, male hair-pattern hair growth) which may arise from excess male hormones called androgens, primarily testosterone. Treat carefully when you make decisions about vitamins, minerals, supplements and nutraceuticals like DHEA. Always check your supplements with your fertility doctor, doctor of acupuncture, nutritionist or your whichever health care provider you trust and who is overseeing your care as DHEA can result in drug interactions or unexpected consequences when used with other fertility medication.
Santa Monica Fertility is available to answer questions about fertility, nutrition, and complementary as well as holistic approaches to enhancing fertility. Simply call 310-566-1470 24/7 and we will be happy to help!