Research articles

Effect of dehydroepiandrosterone on oocyte and embryo yields, embryo and cell number in IVF.

The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of treatment with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on fertility outcomes among women with diminished ovarian reserve.


This is a case-control study in an academically affiliated private infertility centre. Twenty-five women with significantly diminished ovarian reserve had one IVF cycle before and after DHEA treatment, with otherwise identical hormonal stimulation. Women received 75 mg of DHEA daily (25 mg three times daily) for an average of 17.6 +/- 2.13 weeks. We performed a comparison of IVF outcome parameters, before and after DHEA treatment, including peak estradiol (E(2)) levels, oocyte and embryo numbers, oocyte and embryo quality and embryo transfer statistics.


Paired analysis of IVF cycle outcomes in 25 patients, who underwent cycles both before and after DHEA supplementation, demonstrated significant increases in fertilized oocytes (P < 0.001), normal day 3 embryos (P = 0.001), embryos transferred (P = 0.005) and average embryo scores per oocyte (P < 0.001) after DHEA treatment.


This study confirms the previously reported beneficial effects of DHEA supplementation on ovarian function in women with diminished ovarian reserve