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DHEA or not?

(24 Posts)
GlummyMummy Mon 06-Jun-16 20:41:53

I am in a real dilemma about DHEA. Due to start IVF later this month-am I too late to start now for it to have any impact? Had held off as was worried about side effects and long term effects but clinic recommended it today ( I have low amh) out of the blue.

How have others found the side effects and can it still work in a short space of time?

NotSpartacus Tue 07-Jun-16 11:21:47

If your clinic is recommending then I would follow their advice. I have read you should take it for 16 weeks for optimum results but maybe a shorter period will help (or not do any harm). Hopefully you won't need to go through this again but if you do then I guess taking DHEA now might help with a subsequent cycle, even if it is too late for this one.

GlummyMummy Tue 07-Jun-16 12:21:20

have you used it NotSpartacus? How did you get on with it in terms of side effects, impact on your treatment?

NotSpartacus Tue 07-Jun-16 13:54:17

I haven't used it - I possibly have PCOS (high ovarian reserve /AMH for an old lady) and so it is not recommended for me. I did ask them if I could though!

user1464093566 Wed 08-Jun-16 08:40:09

I have ordered a bottle but my clinic said not to take it so I was going to sell it! Let me know if you want to buy it and I can forward onto you :-) xx

bluebell19 Wed 08-Jun-16 09:49:11

I took it for 2 months but it made me really spotty. Not just on my face but also back and chest. I decided to order some more from as I thought I could deal with the acne as long as it worked, but my delivery got seized at customs! Has this happened to anyone else? Is DHEA actually illegal in the UK?

I took this as a sign that I wasn't meant to be taking it so haven't taken any more since and am starting IVF this month. I too have low AMH.

user1464093566 Wed 08-Jun-16 11:33:27

I haven't got mine yet but apparently it's on the way. Happy to sell you mine if you want as I don't plan on taking.

GlummyMummy Wed 08-Jun-16 13:14:37

that's interesting bluebell19. I had acne as a teenager and into my twenties so I am nervous about DHEA causing it all to flare up again! User - why did your clinic say not to take it? Thanks for offer - if I decide to go for it I'll let you know! Treatment starts end of June so have left it very late to be considering it!

user1464093566 Wed 08-Jun-16 14:41:12

They said as it was my first cycle they don't know how I will respond to drugs yet so they don't recommend I take it at this stage. Good Luck!!!

GlummyMummy Thu 09-Jun-16 19:46:58

thanks....and to you!! As an aside, has anyone been taking melatonin?

user1464093566 Thu 09-Jun-16 21:36:43

No I haven't, what's it for? X

farfallarocks Thu 09-Jun-16 22:28:26

I took dhea for low amh in preparation for ivf and got pregnant naturally. My amh was less than one at this point. It did make my hair greasy and I got the odd spot but it WA worth it! Take care to get a high quality micronised supplement. I also took very high doses of conenzyme q10 for egg quality.

bananafish81 Thu 09-Jun-16 23:11:33

I took DHEA, melatonin, CoQ10, resveratrol, high dose vitamin D, C and E for egg quality

Out of 12 embryos which went for PGS testing, 6 came back as chromosomally normal

No proof whether any of the supplements helped my egg quality, but we are absolutely overjoyed to have had such a decent aneuploidy rate

GlummyMummy Fri 10-Jun-16 13:07:32

wow farfallarocks, that's great you got pregnant naturally!! How long had you been trying to conceive and do you mind me asking how old you are? I'm on CoQ10 too, plus a few other things.

Hi again Bananafish - wondered about the melatonin, where did you get yours from? struggling to source it online. Sounds to me like all the supplements must have been doing something!

bananafish81 Fri 10-Jun-16 13:30:43

I got my melatonin from the same place I got my DHEA -

You can buy it from Biovea too - if you've never taken it before you might want to get the 1mg tablets as the 3mg might make you a bit groggy in the morning

farfallarocks Fri 10-Jun-16 15:10:24

We had been trying for 18 months. We had had one terrible
Round of ivf ( I produced 2 eggs on max dose of stims) and I was trying to improve egg quality for the next round when I got pregnant. I actually got pregnant twice in 3 months but the first ended in a chemical.
I was 35 at the time (now 36)

GlummyMummy Fri 10-Jun-16 19:49:04

thanks bananafish - I'll have a look - was struggling to get it on natures best or pharmanord where I've got most of the other things.

That's great farfallarocks - it must have been the dhea then!

Andcake Mon 13-Jun-16 21:07:25

I had (low amh under 1) got pregnant naturally 3 times on dhea - I had 2 mc one stuck and is now a wonderful 3 year old...side effects ache and darkened body did give me more energy and made me run faster was banned for sport people or something in 2012...

BipBippadotta Tue 14-Jun-16 08:45:16

Just to add my 2 bits - it's really worth having your DHEA-S & testosterone tested before you take DHEA, as it's not for everyone and if you're not deficient it can do more harm than good. I took it for about 2 months and half my hair fell out, I was swimming in oil all over my body, I became incredibly aggressive / tense / angry, and I cried uncontrollably all the time. It also pushed me into near PCOS territory.

As far as I understand it, if you have very few eggs it can be helpful; if you have a good number of eggs of uncertain quality it is almost certain to make things worse.

bananafish81 Tue 14-Jun-16 16:08:48

Echoing Bip completely - should only be taking if you have DOR and low DHEAS & testosterone levels

My testosterone was almost undetectable before I started taking it, so I was a good candidate for taking it.

After a few months on DHEA I did get all my androgen levels checked (testosterone, DHEAS, SHBG & free testosterone). The clinic who pioneered DHEA advise the aim is to get testosterone into high-normal range.

When I had my levels tested after a few months on DHEA, the results showed that both my DHEAS and testosterone levels were actually slightly elevated, and above normal range

However, because my SHBG levels were also elevated (which affects how much of the testosterone is actually able to be used by the body), my free testosterone (i.e. the amount the body can actually use) was actually on the low side of normal range.

So although it looked like my levels were really high, actually the testosterone that my body could actually use was still pretty low - so it was fine to stay on it for a bit, as long as my other levels didn’t get too high

I got horribly greasy hair, skin like an oil slick (would wake up in the morning swimming in grease - attractive!), spots and definitely needed extra strong anti perspirant because I was noticeably whiffier. Basically, I turned into Adrian Mole

As soon as I stopped taking it, the side effects went away

GlummyMummy Wed 15-Jun-16 13:23:18

Wow Andcake - that's amazing to get pregnant naturally with a low AMH - congrats on your 3 year old. (bet you wish you were still on it, as more energy is always needed with a toddler!)

BipBippadotta - that is a really valid point. That's the main reason I haven't started it as I have greasy skin at the best of times!

Adrian Mole - haha, Bananafish! Blimey! I think I've convinced myself to leave off the DHEA this time around. Clinic have never offered to test my levels, guess that would have been helpful!

shabooly Sun 26-Jun-16 16:07:39

hi Bip
do you mind me asking how you know that it is almost certain to make things worse if you have a good number of eggs of uncertain quality? How is it certain to make things worse? Many thanks

bananafish81 Sun 26-Jun-16 18:26:47

DHEA is an androgen

It raises testosterone levels

Many women with diminished ovarian reserve have low androgen levels, and their ovaries don't have enough testosterone to make decent eggs

So in these women, DHEA increases testosterone to get it into healthy range

However, too much testosterone is just as harmful to egg quality as too little

If you have normal testosterone levels, taking DHEA will do more harm than good. It'll push your levels up, which is detrimental to egg quality

Unless you know what your androgen levels are, you can't possibly know whether DHEA may be beneficial or harmful to your egg quality

shabooly Sun 26-Jun-16 19:56:01

thanks Bananafish
I foolishly self prescribed in desperation after 4 miscarriages and now my cycle is messed up completely. I haven't ovulated at all for the last 2 months, I did have normal regular cycles with ovulation occurring every month around day 12. Before my losses started years ago I was told I had low AMH (poor ovarian reserve) so in desperation I just took it after reading good things about it for low reserve. I'm fearful now that I have messed things up completely. I stopped taking it as soon as I feared that i hadnt ovulated the first month of taking it but still this month nothing. Do you know how long it might take to leave my system. many thanks

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