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DHEA and Pregnancy

If a pregnant woman takes DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), pregnancy problems could potentially occur. DHEA is a hormone that is converted to testosterone or estrogen in the body; too much testosterone may negatively affect a pregnancy, altering the balance of hormones necessary for a successful pregnancy. If you are taking DHEA and pregnancy occurs, consult your healthcare provider about any potential risks.

An Overview of DHEA and Pregnancy

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a dietary supplement claimed to be beneficial for numerous different uses. DHEA is actually a hormone and could potentially affect a pregnancy in a negative way.

Is DHEA Safe During Pregnancy?

DHEA is a hormone that can be converted to testosterone or estrogen in the body. While excess estrogen is probably not a major cause for concern in pregnant women, excess testosterone certainly may be. Too much testosterone might negatively affect a pregnancy, altering the delicate balance of hormones necessary for a successful pregnancy. Excessive testosterone can also have masculinizing effects on a female fetus, producing ambiguous genitalia.
Pregnancy is not a time to be experimenting with supplements or medications. It is best to stick with products that have a proven record of safety for pregnant women. As a dietary supplement that has been studied very little in pregnant women (and that has the potential to cause problems), DHEA is probably not one of these products that are safe for pregnant women.


Some infertility treatment centers have been recommending DHEA for women with poor ovarian reserve (typically older women) undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). Very preliminary evidence suggests that DHEA might increase the number of fertilized oocytes and the number of normal embryos produced and transferred. It might even increase pregnancy rates with IVF.
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DHEA Supplement Information

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