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J Hum Reprod Sci. 2015 Jul-Sep;8(3):135-41. doi: 10.4103/0974-1208.165142.

Dehydroepiandrosterone as an adjunct to gonadotropins in infertile Indian women with premature ovarian aging: A pilot study.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Physiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation is a relatively recent development that augments ovarian responsiveness in patients with poor ovarian reserve and premature ovarian aging (POA).


To evaluate the efficacy of DHEA supplementation prior to gonadotropins for ovulation induction in women with POA.


Prospective randomized controlled study.


Fifty infertile women with POA were randomized into two groups of 25 each. Group 1 received tablet DHEA 25 mg while group 2 received placebo thrice daily for 6 months. After 3 months, gonadotropin induction with intrauterine insemination was done.


Groups were compared using t-test and Mann-Whitney U-test as appropriate. Pre- and post-parameters were compared using t-test -paired and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests as appropriate.


Of 50 patients, 62% (31/50) presented with primary and 38% (19/50) with secondary infertility. The mean age was 32.1 ± 4.7 years. Serum antimullerian hormone levels (1.5 ± 0.6-1.9 ± 0.4 ng/ml vs. 1.4 ± 0.5-1.5 ± 0.6 ng/ml) and antral follicle count (3.2 ± 1.0-9.3 ± 3.1 vs. 3.3 ± 1.1-3.4 ± 1.4) improved significantly in DHEA group after 3 months. Serum follicular stimulating hormone and estradiol levels though showed significant intra-group improvement (16.9 ± 5.5 mIU/ml to 14.7 ± 6.2 mIU/ml and 86.6 ± 57.5 pg/ml to 105.6 ± 54.3 pg/ml, respectively) with DHEA, the inter group difference was not significant. Ovulation increased from 48% to 86.3% in DHEA group versus 44-66% in placebo group. Six women (24%) conceived after DHEA in comparison to none in the placebo group.


DHEA supplementation may have a beneficial role as an adjunct to gonadotropins in the treatment of infertility with POA, but further evidence is required.


Antimullerian hormone; dehydroepiandrosterone; premature ovarian aging

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