DHEA is considered a dietary supplement in the US. At a daily dosage of up to 75mg DHEA (recommended to be administered as 25mg three-times daily) it just replenishes the approximate levels produced by the body in younger years. Unless medical contraindications exist, this dosage of DHEA can, therefore, be safely taken for prolonged periods of time. [NOTE: Please consult your healthcare provider before initiating supplementation with any of our supplements, including FERTINATAL® DHEA.]
Studies have demonstrated that supplementation for at least 6 weeks is required before, based on improved egg quality, statistically significant improvements in female fertility can be observed in women with low androgen levels.* Peak effectiveness is reached between 16-20 weeks of DHEA supplementation.
Where time is of essence, experts initially recommend that fertility treatments, like in vitro fertilization (IVF), therefore, be initiated after 6 weeks of DHEA supplementation and be continued uninterrupted until pregnancy has been achieved (based on rising pregnancy hormone levels) or until patients decide to discontinue treatment attempts with use of their own eggs. More recent recommendations, however, suggest that the timing of IVF cycle starts not only be based on a prefixed time-interval of prior supplementation with DHEA, but also on measured improvements in androgen levels from pretreatment baseline levels.
The principal reason for the latter recommendation was the observation that a small minority of women, mostly for a variety of genetic reasons, poorly convert DHEA to testosterone [Shohat-Tal et al, Nat Rev Endocrinol 2015;11(7):429-441]. One, therefore, cannot assume that even pharmaceutical-grade DHEA supplement will always lead to satisfactory DHEA levels within 6 weeks and must rely on confirmed androgen levels in blood.