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  1. #1
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    Default Why did you decide against DHEA?

    Hello Hubbers,

    I recently completed by first PICSI/IVF cycle with a BFN. I have AMH of 8.4 (bit low) and we have MFI (morphology). I had said to myself that if my first cycle failed I would use DHEA for my second and final IVF cycle. My FS is not really a believer (just says no evidence to say it works) he is also away on holidays till late Jan. My next cycle is planned for late Feb so if I am going to use DHEA I need to get on it asap. My GP says he will prescribe for me if I wish but doesnt know alot about how the hormonal changes work and thus cannot say it will work for or against me... I do have low testosterone levels, always have had (if that makes a difference).

    So prior to going to my GP for the script I have been doing some more research. The positives side suggests some improvement in eggs quatity and quality but mainly for those women who produce very few eggs in a cycle (mine was 8 so not too bad). I am somewhat of the what cant hurt is worth a try mentality however....

    I have read that for some women it delayed their period and thus I wonder how that affects the IVF process? Also I note that the suggested improvements have not neccessarily translated to pregnancies. A friend who has recently done her 6th cycle tired DHEA for the last cycle and it was her worst yet.. none fertilised from 11 eggs.

    So I am confused and looking for guidance (cant get from FS so am self medicating a bit).

    FYI, my first cycle gave 15 follies resulting in 8 eggs, 7 mature, 6 fertilised with ICSI, 2 grew on to day 4 tsf... BFN

    Thoughts anyone?

  2. #2
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    hi

    ive been around here for a while and i must say i tend to agree, with what ive seen, that DHEA for some reason works best in older women (35+) that produce few eggs (say less than 4 or 5 on average AND combined with poor fertilisation rates)..it doesnt seem to work as well in general for younger ones for some reason, why i dont know??? but then again most ppl who take it are older and have done several ivf cycles with very poor results when they try dhea. both my successful pg have been on DHEA, i used to get 3-5 eggs and fert around 40%, my last sucessful cycle i got 3 eggs on 400 puregon (so getting quite low in egg numbers by then, yet got two top notch quality embryo's at day 2 from that). in general tho ive seen more ppl get better results on it than those that do worse, so yes i guess its still a gamble. your egg number and fert rate are pretty good altho im not sure how old you are? there is research that suggests the fert rate is more to do with the egg quality than sperm quality but after day 3 the quality of the sperm plays a greater affect and i noted that u had 2 out of 6 make it to day 4, yet a high fert rate. i guess the ppl i have seen it work best for is where the male has no fert problems (my husband was perfect) and its the female problem (our case) ....but like i said ive seen miracles on dhea and few ppl who did worse on it, its like everything its trial and error unfortunately. for what its worth, if i got the egg no. / fert rate u did on the first cycle i prob would be more relunctant to start dhea and maybe focus on trying to improve DH's swimmers (if u havent already)...tough decision if u only can do one more cycle as each cycle tends to give more info on what the problem may be. also for what its worth, even tho my DH was "perfect" in the swimmers dept he did a 6-8 wk detox off booze and on menevit for 3 months and both our pg have resulted from that one golden batch of swimmers, so interesting.....

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    Thanks JF I really appreciate the response.. you've had quite a journey (so glad it has worked out for you after such an impressive effort).

    As you say it is hard to make such decisions when one really doesnt know if it is the eggs, the sperm or the combination of both that is the problem. I am 33 and previously had not been too worried about the 8.4 AMH however the scientist did mention that one of my eggs had a 'brown spot' on it. I am also noting that may women with lower AMH also seem to have egg quality problems that said I know that sperm morphology can be just as much a problem. And in fact it is this that appears to worry the FS and my GP the most (although DH chooses to ignore this fact a bit). As I can only afford a couple of cycles and I am one down I have been doing everything possible to give ourselves the best chance possible. Prior to the first failed cycle I took, Q10, Folic, Royal Jelly, Vitex, B complex, Zinc, mulit, fish oil, macca, asprin. I had DH taking Zinc, Q10, Pycnogenol, Lcartine, Macca, B complex. I tried to give it my all with the plan that if it didnt work next time I would add DHEA and Vit E because there isnt much else to add. DH and I also both detoxed. He is not keen on all these meds again (he hated doing it and it, as far as we can tell, made no difference) naturally I will force him.. hee hee (although I may seek a more all in one or a liquid potion blend) Where does one get medevit?

    I am also feeling more scientific about the process now that I have seen how the cycle works. Suddenly things like eating pineapple core and taking suppliments (while I will still do it) seem insignificant compared to the rest of the process... maybe I just feeling a bit defeated?

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    Intrigue, I totally identify with every bit and pieces that you shared in your posts. I have LOR 6.1 and DH MFI. FS was also more concerned about DH but I seem to be more concerned with my LOR since we have already tried HA binding and ICSI and fert rate is still not good. DH also hates taking all these supplements and I have to serve him the potion every day!

    I would say not to give up as you have only done 1 cycle? which is usually quite a trial. I have done 3 and never reckon it to be so hard to get a BFP with all the medical technology and advances. And your reserve is still considered fine and you will respond very well from the look of it. I usually get 11 eggs out of my AMH 6.1 which is not bad I reckon. But having said that, quality is more important than quantity really. And a plus point for you is your age, so dont give up, you stand a good chance!

    I am commencing on DHEA soon but I did a self-imposed BT at my GP today just to check my DHEA and free testosterone levels. I just want to see if there is any difference after a few months. I do freak out at the undesired side effects I read about esp about messing up, shortening AF part. I hope it wont happen to me cos my AF is only 1.5 days (though my lining is always extra thick during IVF scans!) I also will monitor if i am ovulating with taking DHEA. It is scary trying a hormone but I just want to do my best to have another baby. In the end if it doesnt work, I can still give my shoulder a good pat!

    Can your GP prescribe DHEA? I thought they cant? Maybe I am wrong.

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    intrigue: sounds like u have been doing it all pretty much, i was also taking royal jelly, CoQ10, and then added vitamin D as well for my last cycle. also with the dhea you need to be on it for about at least 4 months to get a proper effect, and i had to take a lower dose of 50mg (rather than the usual 75mg).....i always did acupunture but TBH dont think it really made much difference, still i did it, it may be that you were just unlucky u had embies that didnt make it that time. ive had cycles where i had pretty ok embies (well actually one non-dhea cycle only) and it was still a bfn. both the sticky's were day 2 xfers. also, the type of cycle i did made a HUGE difference to my outcome, long down reg were epic fails, antagnoist gave me my sticky's..so , so many factors at play!!! good luck. menevit is just from the chemist. not cheap but even with DH's good result, he went from 100 million sperm count up to 120 million on menevit...more chance of something good in there!

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    Hi Ladies,

    MomtoOne, I have read a few of your post so was aware you are starting the DHEA with a couple of reservations. I personally am not worried about hair loss and greezy skin etc. Sure not nice but I'll live with it if it works. My AF is short like you and I dont want it to be delayed or stop O.. thats a little nerve wracking.. also I believe I do read that some women have worse cycles afterwards although it seems they are few compared to those who have better.... Soo confusing and I find it all but impossible to get a DR to spend a few moments considering ALL the options with you. I spoke with my GP yesterday as I wanted him to consider and he was like ahh quak medicine, naturapaths are dangerous etc (normally a lovely man) was basically like stop reading, calm down and go away. I went home soooo mad, I should have said that some of the leading FS in the world are using this as standard protocol so its not some.. hippy theory, it is worth consideration and surely I am being smart in trying to consider this with a health professional rather than on my own (silly me for trying to be sensible).

    I did ask him to test the DHEA. (cause I got that tip from another post you made) thought it might help me decide. He very relucantly gave me the BT script saying he will humour me but believed that low testosterone (which I know I have always had) has nothing to do with my fertility (how can he be so sure when FS around the world believe that it might?) Anyway the script says for testosterone but not DHEA specifically I asked him about this and he just said thats what we look at....

    Can I ask you about your test.. what did it say?

  7. #7
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    SpotTheOcelot is offline 'Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.'
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    Hiya Intrigue,

    Ahh the trial and error of IVF. If there was one wonder drug, proven and tested there would be some wonderfully rich people out there in the fertility field.

    I have nothing much to add BUT this round I am doing acupuncture and chinese medicine for the first time and she has put my DH on liquid zinc (much better then the tablet form) twice a day. We buy it at a health food shop. He was on Menevit, COQ10, Vitmain E,C and B.

    This cycle we produced 8 eggs, double what we did last cycle and my transfer is tomorrow so time will tell.

    Best of luck with what you choose to do.

    x


 

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