IF and the City

I used to feel sad when I watched the episodes with Charlotte failing over and over again while trying to get pregnant. Little did I know that my own attempts would lead me on the same sad journey. We've now passed 4 years in the trenches. 6 failed IVF/ICSI cycles = nothing. Time for something new - donor eggs. Success at last. Now for round 2.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

DHEA Anyone?

Travel time to and from work has long been great thinking time for me, today as I walked thru the big tunnel at the train station I realised that I had a few posts to make, but they all needed to be made one by one. So I have set myself the ambitious task of a daily post from today thru to Sunday - yikes 4 posts!

I haven't been blogging much about what I'm up to fertility wise, and that's because it's in abit of a holding pattern due to D getting some updated results.

Long before discovering blogs I was a regular infertility forum lurker, I still go back to my favourites almost daily. One of the great discoveries I made was about the wonders currently being seen with women who take dhea. In fact, the story is great, it started with a lady in US wanting to bank embryos for later use, who did some internet research and discovered dhea and started taking it without her doctors' knowledge. Each IVF cycle she went thru she produced more and more eggs - until she was producing around 25 - did I mention she was 43!

Once she'd come clean the clinic started it's own investigations and research, see link http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/premature_ovaries.html

It's astounding stuff, almost too breathtaking to believe.

One thing I've noticed is that this is talked about on forums, but not currently by bloggers.

After our last ivf failure and my subsequent follow up with the miserable doctor, I got what is fondly referred to as 'the speech'. Basically my eggs are crap, and I should lobby one of my sisters to hand some eggs over.

Well it seems that this could be entirely false if our CFG and MS-CFG are to be believed, they think that D's boys could be the party poopers, so we're currently in the midst of getting some more tests (blog update hopefully after the weekend).

But, so as to keep up my end of the bargain, and because my mother would most likely sue me if I go near any of my sisters [egg cap-in-hand], I've explored these magic beans abit more.

In Australia the dhea recommended (micronised - not homeopathic), is a banned substance - because a bunch of athletes have been caught using it to enhance performance. You can get it but you need a prescription. That said I had no problem getting the prescription from a doctor - research in hand, and getting it filled. Incidentally my doctor said alot of his patients that ask for this - want to take it for anti-aging purposes!

Tomorrow marks the 7th week I have been taking it, the recommendation is that it takes 3-4 months to have maximum impact (to do with how long an egg takes to develop).

Seven weeks ago I walked into CFG's office with the same research and asked her if she had heard of it, she had, but didn't realise the current research being done. Incidentally it will not become statistically relevant until they have around 1000 cases. They update the website frequently, but the latest exciting thing being found is the number of spontaneous pregnancies occuring - women taking the drug waiting to cycle. As I said to D - this is a centre that makes it's money off ivf - so spontaneous pregnancy is not in their interest.

Last week CFG told me she had a new patient, 36, who had been thru 6 rounds of ivf with no result and her dr (from the big fertility house) had told her she had crap eggs and should find a donor. Same same but different different. Naturally devastated she probably did some research and tried to get a prescription for dhea. When she she handed over what the dr. had given her, the chemist he said the dosage was so small it wasn't worth taking (incidentally it was a third of what is being recommended).

So I want to add this topic into my blog in case anyone is getting the same spiel, and will blog my own results as they happen.

Just for the record, so far I have experienced no side effects (some report acne), except perhaps a slight feeling of indigestion some days.


At October 14, 2005 8:48 am , Blogger Thalia said...

DHEA sounds v interesting. I haven't really researched it but am increasingly seeing it mentioned. What is your next step on this?

At October 14, 2005 3:13 pm , Blogger Sparkle said...

Hi Thalia,
Well ... er... next step, at the moment alot hinges on D's next test. Our plan has been to go thru another round of ivf - but when the dhea has had time to take good effect. I have read others having blood tests to check dhea levels and to see if fsh has reduced. In my case I don't have elevated fsh (7 I think), so that's never been a problem for me.

At April 29, 2006 9:49 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I happened upon the dhea research yesterday after two negative pg tests and I'm 9 days late. I haven't yet had my second visit to the fertility clinic to get my sonogram, but I know my fsh is "good" (I'm 43). I emailed my nurse there immediately when I discovered the findings and to ask what to do about my MIA period. She said to just wait another week or two to see if I get my period" (tick,tick,tick...) and said she'd never heard of any dhea research and I had no business taking it. I emailed her the link I'd discovered, the same link you referenced above. She responded quickly and said she'd read it, she'd read some more in the morning, and don't take it until all my evals were completed and I'd met with the doctor. Good grief...I went right out and bought the stuff. (I'm in the U.S.)


At March 26, 2007 7:52 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,I am 43, TTC for 2 years,I only bumped into the CHR site by accident in Jan 2007, very interested in taking the dhea, can u please tell me what happened after taking dhea(and what form, what dosage?, and how long) and what results did u have and have u experienced any side affects? cos there r very scarry stories around altough CHR doesn't mention any...

At July 09, 2007 3:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Regarding DHEA , i have taken this for 6 weeks after wards, i found that my periods are becoming irregular. One of sideeffects , i found in the site is that , iregular periods. So Now i stopped taking DHEA. Any idea whether to continue or not? Anybody faced this problem.


At November 11, 2007 10:51 am , Blogger Charles Lin M.D. said...

DHEA has many benefits which include anti-obesity , anti-diabetes and Anti-Autoimmune Disease . Dhea dosage should be limited to 25 and 150 mg’s daily. DHEA can alsostimulate testosterone production which if not overexcessive will improve fertility.

At August 28, 2008 8:08 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...


What doseage did the chemist prescribe? Thanks much.

At October 02, 2008 10:35 am , Blogger Sparkle said...

Hi A,

Sorry I don't check back much to this post - I did 75mg once a day. Think I took it at night.

For me, the dhea made no noticeable difference to my following ivf cycles. I had no increase in eggs produced unfortunately. My first cycle I would only have been taking it around 7 weeks, but by the next one I'd been on it close to 6 months - so plenty of time for the effects to be apparent.

I haven't been keeping up with current research, but I believe it simply makes no difference to some people.

I have no regrets trying it though, my next steps have been donor eggs and without trying everything I wouldn't have been ready for that.

Good luck.

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At July 24, 2009 9:22 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I've read the comments left and decided to try DHEA myself. I've now been on it for 3 months - into my 4th and just about to start IVF again....My question to anyone out there in the know is .. should I stop taking DHEA (75mgs daily) before I start medications tomorrow (saturday 25 July) or keep going through out IVF process? Going insane with worry either way and would appreciate some guidance from anyone who has been through this before .... Thanks Alex


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