Objective: To evaluate whether pretreatment dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation improves ovarian response markers, ovarian response to standard low-dose gonadotropin stimulation, and in vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes in poor responders.
Design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study.
Setting: Tertiary reproductive medicine unit.
Patient(s): Thirty-two women with anticipated poor ovarian response.
Intervention(s): Randomization into DHEA group (n=16) receiving GNC (25 mg three times a day) or placebo (n=16) starting from at least 12 weeks before the scheduled IVF treatment according to a computer-generated randomization list.
Main outcome measure(s): Measurement of monthly ovarian response markers, including antral follicle count (AFC), serum antimüllerian hormone (AMH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels; comparison of ovarian response to a standard dose of gonadotropin stimulation at week 8 and IVF outcomes; and AFC after 12 weeks (primary outcome).
Result(s): The DHEA supplementation resulted in statistically significantly higher serum DHEA-S, free androgen index, and follicular DHEA-S levels. No statistically significant differences in the ovarian response markers (AFC, AMH, or FSH), the ovarian response to standard-dose gonadotropin stimulation, or IVF outcomes were found between the two groups.
Conclusion(s): No statistically significant improvement in ovarian response markers, ovarian response to standard dose gonadotropin stimulation, or IVF outcomes was found in poor responders receiving pretreatment DHEA.
Clinical trial registration number: HKCTR-1149 (www.hkclinicaltrials.com) and NCT01915186 (www.ClinicalTrials.org).
Keywords: DHEA; in vitro fertilization; ovarian response markers; poor responders.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.