Is DHEA safe to take?: Hi, I’ve seen... - Fertility Network UK

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Is DHEA safe to take?


Hi, I’ve seen many people post that they’re taking DHEA (amongst other supplements) and I was wondering if it’s safe to take if you haven’t specifically been told to take it by a doctor?

I’m 37yo, I’m taking 300mg CoQ10, folic acid, vitamin d and general multivitamin. My AMH hasn’t yet been tested as NHS doc said it probably wasn’t necessary but given my age I disagree and would assume my level is on the low side. I’m gearing up to visit a private IVF clinic later this year and want to give it our best shot hence my research on supplements to start now. DHEA keeps coming up in others’ posts but a quick bit of googling scared me due to the potential side effects. Does anyone know if it’s safe to take or if you should only take it if advises by your doctor?

30 Replies

In general most docs won’t strictly recommend it, they sort of let you decide to take it yourself and are a bit non committal. Its also unsafe if you have pcos. I would definitely recommend you get an amh test, you can do it privately for about £85 via medichecks, at least you will know if you have a normal-ish reserve. And if you had very high amh then dhea would be a bad idea xx

Thanks orla9298 I’ll look into medichecks

Also 37. My amh was around 7.3. My consultant recommended it for me, and I got a fact sheet about it from my clinic. But definitely get your amh checked first. She said if I had any of the side effects I could reduce the dose or just stop x

Hi Sarah, would you mind emailing me a copy of the fact sheet they gave you if you still have it? Thank you xx

Yes will pm you x


Hi Shiraz my consultant recommended it to me but had to write me a private prescription for it as the hospital cant have their name attached to it themselves as there's no solid proof it works although research shows some promising results. I had the gel version which works faster than the tablet form. It was called Testogel and i used it on my upper arms (small blob) for 5 weeks until egg collection. I definitely feel it helped me and there were no side effects whatsoever as i was only on it for 5 weeks. I feel it definately improved my egg quality. My amh was 4.79 and my 1st cycle all my eggs were poor quality. But 2nd cycle on dhea I ended up with 2 great embies. Im getting it again for my 3rd cycle. It also only cost about £6 for the 3 gel sachets! Like the others said though defo get your amh tested first. Ive heard that it can actually have a negative affect on those with a good amh level as its not needed and can go the other way making the eggs worse if your amh is already good xx

in reply to Hidden

Really interesting! Do you know what strength/mg testogel is? Thanks for post xx

in reply to Birdwithnoname

The sachet is 50mg but i was advised to use a small tiny blob on my upper arms (about 5mg) each night at the same time. But you've got to wash your hands immediately to ensure it is not transferred to anyone else etc x

in reply to Hidden

Hi one2one

Could u plz tell me how can I buy it online? Do u know any website ?

Thanx and good luck on your way. xxx

In the UK they are not meant to recommend it as although it helps with egg production, there is some evidence linking of to birth defects in babies. My consultant at Bourne Hall Cambridge told me not to take it. The intention is to have a healthy baby.

I agree with other posts - get your AMH & FSH checked, your gp should have done these as standard when referring you. You could probably get that done free at gp if you’ve had it done yet xx

Ps levels given usually in Pmol/L but sometimes given as ng/ml which appears a lot lower (conversion is 1 ng/ml to 7.14 pmol/l) normal is around 10-28 pmol/l

I would def get your AMH checked mine was on the low side and I was 36 when I had mine done. Also the book it starts with an egg is really interesting and talks about DHEA and the benefits. I took it for 3 months amongst other things and whilst I will never know for sure I got my bfp naturally after failed IVF. Only side effect I had was acne but only during the first 4 weeks of taking it.

My clinic didnt recommend it but didn't have any objections to me trying it. I do think that it helped with my egg quality although I didn't get bfp. However by my review appt they were actually recommending it to patients to give it a go although not prescribing it themselves!xx

Hi Shirazlover, I’m in the same position as you. I’m very confused with DHEA. I ordered some which arrived yesterday. But I’m nervous about taking it. No doctor has prescribed it. I live in another European country where supplements and alternative medicines are frowned upon. So I actually don’t want to mention it. (Ive asked if they do AMH tests. They said no, not normally. But I wouldn’t know where to begin to get that done privately). My theory is that if DHEA improves egg quality, surely that helps chance of conception whether ivf/natural/ds etc etc.?

I’ve also heard it can make users’ hair fall out, or increases body hair! Yikes!!!


My consultant said not to take it.....but seems like a lot of people take it on this forum.

I was too scared....



Problem with DHEA is it’s not licensed in the UK only in the states.

I have started taking it a month ago as I have low AMH and not PCOS ; our fertility issue is I have endometriosis.

I was naughty in the sense I have took it without asking my GP or fertility doctor; I had a chemical pregnancy a year ago and wonder if I improved my egg quality whether it would make a difference to the outcome. I buy it from Biovea ;you cannot buy in the UK. I also take COQ10 100mg x three daily as that also boasts egg quality. We both take pre conception vitamins- we buy it from Tesco’s Duo a bargain at £10 for a months supply 🙂 I have suffered no ill side effects from the DHEA. Obviously things affect different people differently.

I think sometimes doing research helps and I’ve found a lot things I can do to help my endo & with ttc to give us a better chance. 🙂

You could as other ladies have suggested get your AMH tested and then make a decision. You could ask your clinic what they think that is the sensible thing to do 🙈

Good luck xoxo

What are the doses that people take DHEA? X

The normal recommended dose to take is 75mg daily. xoxo

Medicine Leaflet Line on 0800 198 5000. The product code(s) for this leaflet is: PL 16468/0005 .



TESTOGEL® 50 mg, gel in sachet


Read all of this leaflet carefully before you start using this medicine because it contains important information for you.

Keep this leaflet. You may need to read it again.

If you have any further questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

This medicine has been prescribed for you only. Do not pass it on to others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours.

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. See section 4.

What is in this leaflet:

1. What TESTOGEL® is and what it is used for

2. What you need to know before you use TESTOGEL®

3. How to use TESTOGEL®

4. Possible side effects

5. How to store TESTOGEL®

6. Content of the pack and other information

1. What TESTOGEL® is and what it is used for

This medicine contains testosterone, a male hormone produced naturally in the body.

TESTOGEL® is used in adult men for testosterone replacement to treat various health problems caused by a lack of testosterone (male hypogonadism). This should be confirmed by two separate blood testosterone measurements and also include clinical symptoms such as:



low sex drive,


depressive moods,

bone loss caused by low hormone levels,

regression of masculine characteristics,

reduced lean body mass,

inability to have/maintain an erection.

2. What you need to know before you use TESTOGEL®

Do not use TESTOGEL®

If you are allergic to testosterone or to any of the ingredients of this medicine. (listed in section 6),

If you are suffering from prostate cancer,

If you are suffering from breast cancer.

Warnings and precautions

Talk to your doctor before using TESTOGEL®:

if you are suffering from epilepsy and/or from migraine, as these conditions may be made worse

if you have high blood pressure or if you are treated for high blood pressure, as testosterone may cause a rise in blood pressure

if you are suffering from severe heart, liver or kidney disease, treatment with TESTOGEL may cause severe complications in the form of water retention in you body sometimes accompanied by (congestive) heart failure

as worsending of breathing problems during sleep have been reported during treatment with testosterone in some people, particulalry those who are very overweight or are already suffering from breathing difficulties.

if you have cancer that affects your bones, as you may develop increased levels of calcium in your blood or urine. TESTOGEL may further affect these calcium levels. Your doctor may with to check these calcium levels using blood tests during your treatment with TESTOGEL

have or ever had blood clotting problems

thrombophilia (an abnormality of blood coagulation that increases the risk of thrombosis – blood clots in blood vessels)

Before starting any treatment with TESTOGEL®, your testosterone deficiency must be clearly demonstrated by clinical signs (regression of masculine characteristics, reduced lean body mass, weakness or fatigue, reduced sexual desire/drive, inability to have/maintain an erection, etc.) and confirmed by laboratory tests carried out in the same laboratory.

TESTOGEL® is not recommended for:

The treatment of male sterility or impotence,

Children as no clinical information is available for boys under 18 years,

By women because of possibly developing male characteristics.

Androgens may increase the

Please ladies don’t use testogel, it’s for men, I know we are all desperate to have a baby, I am too, but come on... this stuff isn’t for us, even if you have fertility issues please I am begging you to call a few doctors who don’t know you and ask them is it good for women finding it HTC xxx send with love not malice towards anyone

in reply to 82Jane

I'd just like to point out that prostap is used to treat male prostate cancer yet is is also commonly used as a down regulation drug for IVF. It's not as simple as that is a woman medicine and that is a male one.


I think it is down to what your consultant recommends. This is DHEA and a lot of women have tried it whether it be in tablet form or the gel. My consultant specifically prescribed this for me and I feel it really worked for me as my egg quality went from poor to good. I was on it for 5 weeks only and as i said it is a tiny amount that you rub into your skin not a whole sachet. Men tend to use a sachet a day whereas my sachet lasted 2 weeks. I did read the leaflet on line and simply took it due to the recommendation of my consultant only. Please get your hormone levels checked first and go by the recommendations of your consultant X

I don’t understand how poor ladies out there are thinking their eggs are suddenly going to go from 30oddyrs in time to 20years by taking a quite dangerous non U.K. licensed for female fertility, PLANT hormone, please do the research as you may be doing more harm than good. I do have some weight as my father is a biomedical scientist xxxxx

Link to a hospital in New York’s website and their info on using Testogel

So I think the ‘jury is still out ‘ as they say and further research is needed, human trials rather than mice ideally. Some evidence for using it IMHO but that’s personally just me


Im sure us ladies will do our research before just taking something 😂. Im also sure if there's a chance something may work and has been recommended by a fully qualified Consultant I personally would give it a go. DHEA is taken by women in many countries. It helped me a lot so I'm confident with the advice i was given and I trust my Consultant. I had zero side effects and my eggs did improve quality wise. Im taking dhea again next month for my next cycle in October in Cyprus. Nerves and excitement are setting in a bit now like. Will be booking our flights shortly!!! 😀X

in reply to Hidden

Well said! And all the best with your cycle . 💗 xoxo

in reply to jess1981

Thanks lovely. Wish you all the best too 😘😘

Thank you everyone for your thoughts on DHEA. I’ve booked a GP appointment to ask for AMH and FSH tests. If my GP won’t help I’ll try the gyno again (he was the one who said it wasn’t necessary) in our follow up later this month.

Just to let you know I’ve tried this now and got a rash so had to stop, disappointment

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