Anti-ageing pill shows hope in female infertility

Taking anti-ageing pills could improve the chances of conception in infertile women, says a study.
Adrian Shulman, professor of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, has found a connection between the vitamin supplement DHEA, used to counter the effects of ageing, and successful pregnancy rates in women.
DHEA is a naturally-occurring steroid found in the brain and plays an important biological role in humans and other mammals. It is a supplement marketed as an anti-ageing drug around the world. In the first study on the effects of the supplement, Shulman found that women being treated for infertility who received supplements of DHEA were three times more likely to conceive than women being treated without the additional drug. After hearing anecdotal evidence from his patients and the medical community on the benefits of combining fertility treatments with DHEA, Shulman decided to put this theory to test. He and fellow researchers conducted a study in which a group of women received treatment for poor ovulation and another group received the same treatment with the addition of the DHEA supplement. The latter group took 75 mg of the supplement daily for 40 days before starting fertility treatments. Not only were women who combined infertility treatment with DHEA more likely to conceive, they were also more likely to experience a healthy pregnancy and delivery. “In the DHEA group, there was a 23 per cent live birth rate as opposed to a four per cent rate in the other group. Moreover, in the DHEA group, all but one ended in healthy deliveries,” explains Shulman.
Shulman believes that women who are finding little success with their current fertility treatments could look to DHEA to improve their chances of conceiving, said a Tel Aviv
University release. “We recommend that women try this DHEA treatment, in conjunction with fertility treatments, for four to five months,” Shulman says. The results were recently published in AYALA, the journal of the Israeli Fertility Association.

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