DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), also known as the youth hormone is an adrenal steroid hormone that is synthesized by adrenal glands. They are then converted into androgens, estrogen, and other hormones. These hormones help regulate fat and mineral metabolism, sexual and reproductive function, and energy levels. It's important to understand that the levels of DHEA increase until our body is in the late 20s, after which it starts declining with age.
"DHEA supplements help by increasing the androgen levels within the ovarian environments to a normal range, which improves egg quality. The high-quality healthy eggs develop into high-quality embryos, which have a better chance of implantation and lower risks of miscarriage," said Dr Sowjanya Aggarwal, Gynaecologist, Max Hospital, Vaishali. "DHEA supplements diminish ovarian reserve (DOR) through the practice of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). The pregnancy outcomes have been improved for those who suffer from premature ovarian ageing (POA) as well as women over the age of 40 whose ovarian reserve is declining as a part of the natural ageing process," she added.
In various cases, it is found that chances of pregnancy increase with higher androgen levels after DHEA supplementation. In fact, they use these very same supplements to look and feel younger too. "Women with diminished ovarian reserve due to the premature ovarian ageing have low androgen levels. Many patients who were told that they would never have a baby without using donor egg discovered after taking DHEA supplements that they have conceived without any issue," said Dr Nitasha Gupta, IVF Specialist, Indira IVF Hospitals, New Delhi. "The body doesn't always need DHEA especially as the age increases. Specialised practitioners in IVF know the right quantity of DHEA to be provided to patients and to guide them about the safe supplementation of the same. Many DHEA supplements have high doses of the substance which can harm the body if used excessively," added Dr Aggarwal.