Thyroid UK

DHEA has brought back periods!


I'm posting this to several forums to try to get some advice. I'm treating my adrenals in advance of treating my thyroid, in the hope I might not need to do the latter. Following a saliva adrenal stress test through Dr Sarah Myhill in the UK (where I live), I've been supplementing with 20mg DHEA and 10mg/1ml hydrocortisone cream for about 4 months. I'm 58, with ME and post menopausal, I'd not had a period for 5 years. Since starting the supplementation, I've had 3 periods, with increasing, er, volume! This current period is extremely heavy with lots of cramps and has really wiped me out.

I'd like to hear from anyone else if they've had the same experience. Am I taking too much DHEA? I'm wondering if I should drop the DHEA to 10mg. With the ME, I really feel that I can't handle heavy periods again, and I also wonder how long they'll go on for. I'm dreading the same again in a month!

I should point out that I'm not a patient of Dr Myhill's, though I am following her advice based on my test.

Thanks in advance.


7 Replies

DHEA when it kicks in it either converts onto testosterone or oestrogen.

In your case, it appeared to be the latter.

It is a full functional adrenal blood test that assesses Pregnonelone, DHEA, Cortisol and other peripheral steroids is completed before poking those major hormones.

Often, pregnenolone, the mother of all hormones, is prescribed as it has the potential to boost progesterone before the 'adrenal' wheel starts moving again in a harmonious way.

Pregnenolone levels in the body diminishes as we age and 'pregnenolone steal' occurs during adrenal fatigue. Ironically, pregnenolone is synthesised from Cholesterol, then it produces another hormone called 17OH-preg that then yields into the DHEA.

Are you taking any statins?

The bleeding will drop your iron levels which will affect your thyroid.

Please get in touch with your doctor as postmenopausal bleeding is not something that should be taken lightly, even if it is a side effects of the DHEA.


I'm sure I've read that the saliva test is more reliable, which is what I had, to measure adrenal stress. The results showed low daytime cortisol and very low DHEA, thus the treatment.

Statins? No way! Why do you ask?


Cholesterol helps in making pregnenolone which makes, as explained above, another hormone before DHEA is made. So, if you think of hierarchy or order. Cholesterol is no. 1, followed by pregnenolone, the 17OH-P, then DHEA.

so, statins could undermine the levels of cholesterol and you'll have a domino effect!


Sorry, can't be much help. Same age. I'm on 12.5mg of DHEA a day sublingual - split doses. Started it about 5 years after menopause. No periods (thank the lord). But I hardly ever had them before menopause. I have DHEA because I need testosterone but turn into a homicidal loonie if I take it directly. It also helped with cortisol.

What are your other hormone levels like?


Low cortisol is usually just from low thyroid. Thyroid meds should bring it up. That is quite a lot of DHEA..i was told to never take anymore than 5mgs and hydrocortisone cream, usually does nothing, but, has the potential to lower the function of the adrenal glands.. not help them.


Just thought I'd add, over a year later (frustrating that there are no dates on old posts), that reducing the dosage of DHEA stopped the periods and then eventually swapped over to pregnenalone, following Dr M's advice.


I took DHEA for less than a month. I am post menopausal also and periods had stopped (for Lee's than a year but blood work said post menopausal) I quit the DHEA when I read something about it that I didn't like. I got a very heavy period a few days after I stopped it. So it is my opinion that yes, DHEA could very well be the cause of your bleeding.


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