Denver, CO- Today, at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Scientific Congress, researchers reported for the first time that poor sexual function in pre-menopausal women can be significantly improved by androgen supplementation with DHEA.
Poor sexual function has been reported to improve in post-menopausal women taking a DHEA supplement. To investigate whether DHEA could also be effective in pre-menopausal women, the researchers recruited 50 infertility patients of advanced age (average age 41). The women received a 75 mg oral DHEA supplement daily. Prior to, and again 4 to 8 weeks after initiating treatment, the women completed a questionnaire, the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), and underwent comprehensive hormone testing.
All the women’s serum androgen levels increased, while their FSH levels decreased. The average FSFI score increased by 7%, with the score for desire, arousal, and lubrication increasing by 17%, 12%, and 8% respectively. Average scores for orgasm, satisfaction and pain were unchanged.
It was the women whose FSFI scores were in the lowest quartile before starting DHEA supplementation who benefitted the most. Their FSFI scores increased 34% on average, with all domains improving: desire by 40%, arousal by 46%, lubrication by 33%, orgasm by 54%, satisfaction by 24%, and pain by 25%. The women in this quartile also experienced a much greater increase in their free testosterone levels compared to women in the highest-scoring quartile on the first FSFI.
Paula Amato, MD, a member of the ASRM Board of Directors noted, “DHEA supplementation may hold promise for improving sexual function for premenopausal women without infertility, as well. Given that the study was not placebo controlled, more research is needed.”