Fertility Network UK
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Hi ladies, would really appreciate some advice on this. I'm 35 and DH 36, our last (4th) IVF cycle ended in a missed miscarriage. Whilst I react well to the drugs (20 eggs collected), I feel that the quality of the eggs is poor. We only had 2 left on day 3 to transfer. Having read lots about additional vitamins, DHEA is the one that's confusing me the most. Is it only suitable for women with diminished ovarian reserve or can it actually help improve egg quality?????

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Hey Im 39, my AMH was 7.19 when it was done around a year ago. I had a terrible first round, all of our embryos died. When we were first referred for IVF it was due to my hubby having a low sperm countl However after such a failure (you can read back my previous posts) I was told it was probably my egg quality due to my age etc. So next round the only changes were that I took DHEA, aspirin and had acupuncture. I asked the clinic before I took it they werent fussed either way, the embryologist said that it would do no harm and he'd seen a good improvement with another patient that took it and the consultant said there wasnt enough clinical evidence but if I wanted to then fine. Took 3x25mg per day. In my second cycle all of our eggs fertilised and on day 5 we had 2 tranferred (these were in between morula and blast stage), none good enough to freeze unfortunately. Sadly didnt get a BFP. On our review appt the consultant said that the difference between the 2 cycles was "astounding" and asked what I did differently. I said DHEA and she said that looking at my two cycles, had she not known would have though they were two different patients and advised me to go back on DHEA for cycle 3 which Ive just started. Obviously cant say for sure whether it was the DHEA or just luck but I genuinely feel it improved quality for me and suspect the consultant feels this seein as she told me to get back on it for this one! Will see what this round brings.xx

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Thank you for the reply Cinderella5, really appreciate it! And I wish you all the best for the next round x Due to our missed miscarriage we have to wait a few months to regulate my cycles and then start again. I will start the DHEA and other supplements.

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Sorry for your loss! You're welcome, I only knew about it because of others on here and being a google Dr of course! They usually recommend taking it for around 3 months. It does have a few side effects like greasy hair, spots etc. Im not sure if you have asked your clinic, a few ladies on here have said their clinics werent very happy about them taking it so maybe run it by them - great advice coming from me who'd already ordered it and started it by the time I asked! Ha ha ha xx

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Thank you, yes will give the clinic a quick call and see what the Dr has to say. I'm the same as you, I've already bought 2 bottles 🙈 Should have asked first, just going crazy trying to give the next treatment the best chance possible! The things we do....

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So like you, I wanted to do everything possible to help. I was told when we started in 2014 that my amh for my age was low (in the 8's). I was told that this could be connected to having had laparoscopies for endometriosis laser removal.

First round - long protocol.

17 follicles at last scan

12 eggs collected

10 injected with icsi

4 embryos fertilised

Day 5 blastocyst transfer of 1x 5ba

1x 5ab frozen

2 progressed for another day, but didn't progress

BFP with missed miscarriage - no heartbeat at 9+5 weeks

Second round - long protocol starting on lower dosage to avoid mild OHSS like first cycle, but increased after slow progress.

10 follicles at last scan

6 eggs collected

3 injected with icsi

1 embryo fertilised

Transfer day 2


FET round

Using frozen from first round

BFP with miscarriage at just over 5 weeks

I asked my clinic about dhea at this stage and they said they used to recommend it to people and that it wouldn't hurt. Took it for about 3 months before.

Third Round (private) - short protocol to try and get better quality eggs and blood thinners and aspirin for the miscarriage side of things even though none of my miscarriage tests have indicated any issues.

11 follicles at last scan

9 eggs collected

8 injected with Icsi

1 embryo fertilised

They said there was debris in the eggs, but couldn't say why this might have happened.

Day 3 transfer

BFN - started spotting 5 days before OTD

I do now wonder if dhea helped me or made things worse. There are things online which say you should have certain hormone levels tested to ensure that they aren't too high to start with and that they should be monitored whilst you take dhea otherwise you don't know what's going on.

I also read that people with endometriosis shouldn't necessarily use it, but my clinic didn't seem bothered about this, but it'll always be a wonder in my head...


Hi Re82,

Sorry to hear of your latest cycles and outcomes.

I have looked at DHEA as I too am producing lots of eggs and fertilisation rate good bit quality between fertilisation and day 3 is poor.

My any is 24.8 so never thought I would have an issue and started OFF at 35 (not ancient although I feel it 😂).

It's also hard to know whether DHEA makes a difference to some women or if they would have had the same cycle anyway without it.

I have been recommended not to try again with my own eggs and I am now going ahead with Donor Eggs.

It's a hard call to make but I could not justify spending even more money using my own eggs when the professionals did not think it would work.

Hopefully your clinic should be able to give you some info. I do think I have seen some posts on here with ladies who had success on it so hopefully they will get in touch.

Wishing you lots of success going forward xx


I ordered some and the chickend out. My acupuncturist said I did the right thing . I took ubiquonol instead and started 3mg of melatonin when I started my injections as recommended in a book 'it starts with the egg, I also did acupuncture every week and didn't drink for 4 months (I only stopped 2.5months before last year cycle. My egg quality was better this time and I Managed a frozen one which I didn't before also I had no fragmentation this time . I took calxium, vitamin d and omega 5 and also protein shakes which I got after watching Zita west webinar x I know some people have had improved egg quality using dhea but I just wasn't sure enough to do it xx


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