Research articles

Dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation improves ovarian response and cycle outcome in poor responders.

The effect of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation on cycle outcome was assessed in patients with poor ovarian response. In total, 19 poor responder patients who were scheduled to undergo a second intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)/embryo transfer cycle were enrolled and first ICSI/embryo transfer cycles were taken as the control group. All subjects were given DHEA supplementation (25 mg t.i.d.) for at least 3 months prior to their second ICSI/embryo transfer cycle. In both cycles a fixed dose of rFSH (300 IU/day) and human menopausal gonadotrophin (HMG) (75 or 150 IU/day) along with a flexible gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist protocol were administered. A favourable decrease was noted in mean day 3 serum oestradiol concentrations after DHEA supplementation (75.14 +/- 28.93 versus 43.07 +/- 11.77; P < 0.01). Increased number of >17 mm follicles (3 +/- 0.7 versus 1.9 +/- 1.3; P < 0.05), MII oocytes (4 +/- 1.8 versus 2.1 +/- 1.8; P < 0.05), top quality day 2 (2.2 +/- 0.8 versus 1.3 +/- 1.1; P < 0.05) and day 3 embryos (1.9 +/- 0.8 versus 0.7 +/- 0.6; P < 0.05) were achieved in DHEA-supplemented cycles. Cycle cancellation rates were reduced (5.3% versus 42.1%; P < 0.01), and the pregnancy rate per patient and clinical pregnancy rate per embryo transfer (47.4% versus 10.5%; P < 0.01 and 44.4% versus 0%; P < 0.01) were improved after DHEA supplementation. DHEA supplementation might enhance ovarian response, reduce cycle cancellation rates and increase embryo quality in poor responders.

 
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