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From San Diego, California, USA:

What would cause a type 1 diabetic, who was diagnosed at age 12 and has had good control with A1cs in the 5.0 to 6.0 range, to have very high DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone) ( DHS) levels? I've contacted you before regarding the infertility and diabetes "correlations/connections,", and with all the new studies regarding the DHEA supplement and increased fertility (see The Center for Human Reproduction web site) including better quality eggs/embryos, I just had to ask. What would make a well controlled diabeticís DHS level be elevated? The normal range is 35 to 430. Mine was tested twice and had results of 497 and 488. I had several crappy IVF cycles, very few eggs produced despite huge amounts of simulating drugs, and the resulting embryos were very poor quality. I've been through the gamut of tests and everything shows that these are "unexplained" - normal ovulation cycle, and all blood work (with the exception of the DHS) comes back "normal."

I asked previously whether or not taking metformin (or other prescriptions prescribed for type 2) would help in the production of better quality embryos and am now wondering if taking metformin would bring down my DHEA level to a normal range?


I do not know why diabetes would cause an elevated DHEAS other than diabetes does have effects on all the organs including endocrine and, thus, can have secondary effects on hormone production. For example, many people with diabetes also have thyroid dysfunction. While metformin does lower testosterone in women with PCOS, it does not appear to have a great effect on DHEAS levels. Also, in women with PCOS and very elevated levels of DHEAS, metformin does not appear to have as great an effect on improving ovulation. As far as I know, metformin does not have any effect on the quality of embryos.


Original posting 30 Sep 2005
Posted to Other and Family Planning


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:04
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