* Author Topic: DHEA for the over 40 plus all the other supplements they now recommend?????  (Read 3330 times)

0 Members

Offline Toad76

  • Full Member
  • ***
Hi all. I had my first IVF a month before my 38th birthday and it was a straight forward, 'yep you've had a trillion tests and natural attempts, let's get going'. We were extremely lucky and I have an 18 month old son.

This time I'm just 40 and we went in for a base line scan and bloods and not much has changed. My AMH is 17, it was 18 before I think.

However, this time I've been told to delay starting for 3 months and take DHEA, Co Q10, Vitamin D and then the usual folic acid and pre natal vitamins.

Is this just a change in protocol and is standard practice when you turn 40? I've read some good things about DHEA and I've read some bad, buy the Dr is very casual about it when I asked.

I'm not a fan of popping pills and IVF is a drug laden experience as it is. My question is, do you think this is all necessary and worth taking the risk of side affects? When it comes to supplements the evidence for effectiveness is wishy washy at best and I can't find anything saying it's ok for pregnant women to have them in their system?

I have asked the clinic and they just keep saying it's up to me and they've seen some success with DHEA. Very vague about the side effects. Seems to be an age related recommended protocol.

Opinions and experiences would be most welcome to help me decide.

Thanks

Toad

FertilityFriends

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline Hopeful_one

    • Un-Ranked
    • *
    Hi Toad,

    You are still 'young' and have good AMH for your age.  I'm assuming you are doing OE IVF hence the additional supplements this time.

    I've only started my IVF journey recently and very much late in life (mid-40s).  If I had known what I do now about the supplements I would have started them in my mid-30s and changed much of my diet and life-style however I am now in this situation so want to do as much as I can to help me achieve the best results.

    Hence I have started taking CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and am planning to buy some DHEA but unsure if I will take it as well as diet and lifestyle changes.  I have completed my first cycle of a multi-package IVF (OE) and that resulted in no suitable embryo for banking - I was more than a little upset as you can imagine.  But before I try cycle 2 I want to see if the supplements will make any difference - they take a minimum of 3 months to make any difference as that is how long the egg maturation process is.

    There is also alot of research that a short protocol is used in older women as it's more about egg quality than quantity.  What protocol were you on in your last IVF?  I had short protocol and had 2 eggs at EC.  Like you I don't like pill popping but given that time is not my side I want to do all that I can to maximise my chances.

    You will find many ladies on FF who say DHEA/supplements have worked for them but also those for whom it did nothing.  I would say that it is a very personal decision and none of the clinics I spoke to gave a definite answer on it so I made a choice!

    Good luck whatever you decide to do.


    Offline Toad76

    • Full Member
    • ***
    Hi Hopeful one, thanks for the reply.

    Yes this will be with my own eggs. I had the long protocol last time and they have recommended the same again this time. I think I'm happy with most of the recommendations, it's just the DHEA because of the mixed reviews I've read. I guess I need to trust my Dr and just crack on and do the three months of prep like he's advised this time.

    I know in fertility terms I am in a lucky position compared to a lot of ladies on here, and have been extremely lucky so far. Not getting the response you've wanted can't be easy to deal with.

    Thanks again for the advice and I hope your next round brings you good news. Xx

    Offline Zeka

    • Gold Member
    • *****
    • 08: Ms Mellon; 09: UCH + ARGC, 10: FGA + ARGC
    Hi Toad, your post resonated with me so thought I'd say hi!
    I'm a few years older and have just had a failed ivf. I only produced 2 eggs & one fertilised. Very different from my last ivf 6 yrs ago. I was also advised to take dhea (but only fitted in 6 wks before I cycled) & im going to start it again once AF shows along with ubiquinol. Just hoping to catch one last good egg somehow! I had no side effects from dhea, however also didn't see any benefits (i guess) from 6 weeks. I'll try longer this time. Anyway I'm rambling on with no real point but good luck with your next go! ☺️

    Offline Beside_the_seaside

    • Sr. Member
    • ****
    Good advice from Hopeful_one and Zeka above.

    I’ve tried to read up a bit about DHEA myself.  I found some of the most useful and apparently reliable information on the website of CHR (Center for Human Reproduction) in New York, who claim to have been the instigators of DHEA in fertility treatments.  https://www.centerforhumanreprod.com/services/infertility-treatments/dhea/whatis/  Their website also contains links to some of their published medical research papers.
     
    You might also like to look at the brief discussion of DHEA on page 2 of this leaflet from the Lister Hospital in Chelsea: http://ivf.org.uk/images/downloads/Lister-Fertility-Clinic-low-ovarian-reserve.pdf

    I understand that CHR recommends pre-treatment with DHEA as a standard protocol for all women aged 40 and over.  They do so on the basis that many women over 40 (although by no means all women) will suffer from some degree of diminished ovarian reserve.  Widespread recommendation of DHEA seems to be becoming the norm for clinics in the UK towards this age group.  You will notice that the Lister includes DHEA as an “adjuvant treatment ... to improve outcomes in poor responders”.
     
    It reminds me a little of a younger friend of mine who is in the very fortunate position of being due to give birth to her second baby a fortnight after she turns 40.  The hospital initially recommended that she agreed to be induced on her due date as that was their standard obstetric protocol for the over 40’s.  She pointed out that had she conceived the baby only two weeks earlier they wouldn’t be pursuing that approach, so she wasn’t going to be induced, thank you very much.

    The point being that whilst medics will draw a line for their recommendations somewhere – remember that nothing especially magical has happened to you by only just turning 40.  You are still young(ish) and I would have thought that you might hazard a reasonable guess, based on your excellent AMH of 17, that your ovaries are in pretty good nick – hardly ‘poor responder’ territory.  So if you decide that you have serious reservations about DHEA – I wouldn’t worry about feeling pressurised into taking it.  It would seem a perfectly reasonable decision NOT to take it, in your position.
     
    I've started to take DHEA myself, but I'm significantly older than you (unfortunately for me!) so my perspective is bound to be somewhat different.  I've asked a couple of fertility consultants about DHEA and both were of the view that whilst it's not considered to be categorically proven to help (I think due to the ethics/difficulties in recruiting sufficiently large numbers of volunteers to a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial) it won’t hurt.

    Basically their advice was to try DHEA if I wanted to (they didn't really push the issue), and if any side effects were experienced, then just simply stop taking it.  (You may have heard about side effects such as hair loss, headaches, greasy skin, acne and so on).  They suggested that any side effects were probably fairly unlikely to occur but if they did would be likely to be mild and reversible upon stopping the medication.

    However, despite these (albeit fairly casual) recommendations from these fertility consultations, I have received no advice whatsoever on where exactly to buy DHEA from!

    So far I have found this retailer of micronized DHEA who ships to UK: http://www.dhea-uk.com/home.php

    Also Eurovital DHEA from e.g. Biovea: http://www.biovea.com/uk/product_detail.aspx?PID=21529&deptid=1&cid=22583&OS=202&NAME=DHEA-25mg-300-Vegetarian-Tablets

    I'd be really interested to know if your clinic gave you any information on a reliable source of high quality DHEA?  Or perhaps they offered to prescribe it for you?  Any tips would be gratefully appreciated!


    This post contains an unconfirmed link/information and readers are reminded that FertilityFriends.co.uk or its owners are not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Offline Zeka

    • Gold Member
    • *****
    • 08: Ms Mellon; 09: UCH + ARGC, 10: FGA + ARGC
    Beside the seaside, I got my dhea from your first link. Again, no advice on where to get if from my clinic (although I seem to be one of very very few that have been told to take it there - think it depends on the consultant!)

    Offline moonstone5985

    • Un-Ranked
    • *
    I'm 42 and a half and just had one egg collected not mature so no go. I started dhea about 4 weeks ago and started to feel sick and stopped taking it...I still felt sick until first day of AF. Now decided to go back on dhea for 3 months if I can and pray for a result...

    I had a natural conception when I was just past 39 but history of PCOS... I think the natural was a total fluke. At 40 though I think you have a good chance but no harm in taking dhea as long as no side effects for you...it can only help.

    I'd also like to know where would be best to buy it. I got mine from biovea but it's not micronised.

    Also don't know what you're meant to do after I ovulate and there's a small possibility of being pregnant but guess I'll just assume that's very unlikely...

    I did post about this before myself trying to decide whether to take it... so know the conundrum you're in.

    Offline moonstone5985

    • Un-Ranked
    • *
    Btw I really don't know that a good amh makes any difference- mine was 15.

    Offline Toad76

    • Full Member
    • ***
    Hi, Thanks for the replies. X

    Sorry you didn't have success this time Zeka. X
     I was told it had to be a min of 3 months by egg collection date, so could call after 2 months of taking to start down reg. They said it won't increase quantity of eggs, but they have seen an improvement in egg quality. Apparently they are doing their own small study and going on results so far.

    Thanks Beside the seaside. My Dr said Biovea for the DHEA. Said it was the only place to get it? Obviously not the only place, but I guess he meant that he'd only recommend them? Thanks for the links, that's really useful. X You're right too, it isnt a requirement, I think I was just shocked when he handed me a list of supplements when I took nothing other than prenatal vitamins last time as most women do. Guess 40 isn't old but in fertility terms it's the start of the next chapter of issues in their age bracketing.

    I was told Biovea too Moonstone and that there's no need to take it after ovulation, but I guess if no success then to carry back on. Sorry your cycle didn't work this time.

    Well I shall start the DHEA and I will let you know how I get on. Side effects and egg wise. My quality wasn't amazing last time, so will be interesting to see.

    Thanks again and food luck with the next treatments. Xx