DHEA appears to improve IVF outcomes for some women, and may improve egg quality
Research into DHEA and its role in fertility medicine has largely been focused on whether it can help improve the number of follicles produced during an IVF stimulation cycle. More recently, analysis of the follicular fluid surrounding a developing egg has found the level of DHEA it contains also appears to correlate with egg quality.
There is not a routine test that specifically evaluates egg quality.
Egg quality is assumed to be the cause of many women’s fertility challenges based on either their age or the absence of other identifiable causes. Some fertility related tests do however, appear to correlate with egg quality and often assumptions are made based on those. If an egg is able to be fertilised, chromosomal testing of the embryo can reveal the likelihood of healthy pregnancy viability and another assumption is then made about egg and sperm quality.
So is it true you can not influence egg quality?
There is no doubt there is an age related correlation with egg quality. However women in their early to mid 30s are often told this is their particular fertility problem, but contradictorily, I’ve worked with women who have had babies in their mid to late forties. So clearly there is more to egg quality than just age.
Usually women are told there is nothing that can be done about egg quality. However recent research is questioning that. Studies are looking more closely at the mechanisms involved in egg quality decline. Pharmaceutical research, based on studies of worms, has identified some specific egg degeneration pathways and is developing a drug intervention hoped to slow the ageing process of a woman’s eggs. Other studies are exploring the impact of oxidative stress on human eggs and what influences the mechanisms involved both positively and negatively.
Our eggs are exposed to a number of influences in our body that impact them through our entire life. Harmful influences appear to damage the DNA they contain, making them more fragile. However, we also know that we can improve the internal environment of the body by removing harmful environmental influences and adding in more positive ones, tipping numerous functions and physiological factors more towards health. In this video Suzanne discusses the role DHEA may play on influencing our egg health and development.