Addition of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for poor-responder patients before and during IVF treatment improves the pregnancy rate: a randomized prospective study

Hum Reprod. 2010 Oct;25(10):2496-500. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deq220. Epub 2010 Aug 21.


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation on in vitro fertilization (IVF) data and outcomes among poor-responder patients.

Methods: A randomized, prospective, controlled study was conducted. All patients received the long-protocol IVF. Those in the study group received 75 mg of DHEA once a day before starting the next IVF cycle and during treatment.

Results: Thirty-three women with significantly diminished ovarian reserves were enrolled, 17 in the DHEA group and 16 in the control group. The 33 patients underwent 51 IVF cycles. The DHEA group demonstrated a non-significant improvement in estradiol levels on day of hCG (P = 0.09) and improved embryo quality during treatment (P = 0.04) between first and second cycles. Patients in the DHEA group also had a significantly higher live birth rate compared with controls (23.1% versus 4.0%; P = 0.05), respectively. Six of seven deliveries were among patients with secondary infertility (P = 0.006).

Conclusion: Dehydroepiandrosterone supplementation can have a beneficial effect on ovarian reserves for poor-responder patients on IVF treatment. NCT01145144.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / therapeutic use
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / administration & dosage*
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / administration & dosage
  • Fertilization in Vitro / drug effects*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / agonists
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / drug therapy
  • Ovulation Induction / methods
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Estradiol

Associated data