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DHEA—a Natural Fertility Boost?

With all the fertility drugs out there, you may be wondering if there’s a more natural way you can boost your fertility. One of the supplements out there that promises to do so is called DHEA. So what is this, and how does it work?

DHEA is actually dehydroepiandrosterone, a naturally-occurring female hormone that the body converts into androgen. DHEA supplements may boost the levels of androgens that are necessary for healthy egg development and function. And egg quality is important because high-quality eggs are more likely to develop into high-quality embryos, which are less likely to have problems with implantation.

The supplement is primarily used in women with low ovarian reserve, which can occur as a result of premature ovarian aging. So does it work?

A 2011 review published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology concluded the following about DHEA and fertility:

  • It improves ovarian function
  • It increases your chances of pregnancy
  • It reduces your risk of miscarriage

The general dose is 75mg a day, broken up into three intervals. Usually, you start to take the supplement about six weeks before IVF, and stop once you conceive.

Want to learn more about what you can expect on DHEA supplements? Check out the Alternative Treatment forum on

Watch as Dr. Helen Kim explains: What is Premature Ovarian Failure?

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