Published Research > E.A.J. Ryan, E.A. Claessons, S. Blanco Mejia. The sex ratio of offspring born to women using dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) to improve ovarian response. Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Atlanta, USA. November 2008.

28 Sep 2009

ABSTRACT: Sex ratio of offspring born to women using Dehydroepiandrosterone to improve ovarian response.

OBJECTIVES: To see if pregnancies achieved with the addition of exogenous androgen precursors would affect the normal ratio of male to female offspring in humans as has been shown in some animal species (the Heifer family). 

METHODS: This study was conducted in an academically affiliated private infertility center.  We have previously reported on the increased pregnancy rate in these patients with either an age related problem or a diagnosis of poor ovarian reserve.  We have also published (in press to The New England Journal of Medicine) the apparent reduction in aneuploidy rate in such pregnancies, expressed by an overall pregnancy loss rate of 14%.  This rate is very much lower than the expected loss rate for patients of this age.  As we noticed, a preponderance of males occurred only in the patients delivered so far, thus we wished to analyze if the same phenomenon was occurring in our patients as has been shown to occur in Heifers.  From our total of 162 patients placed on DHEA since February 2006 through May 2008, we analyzed only those patients who have delivered not theose with ongoing pregnancies where the sex may be suggested from ultrasound.

RESULTS: From the 162 patients who have been put on DHEA, 25 mg t.i.d. since February 2006, we have 24 patients who have delivered and the sex of the offspring has been verified. 

We have a total of 31 babies in this group.  The number of male children is 19 (61.2%) and female children is 12 (38.7%).

Sub-group of IVF pregnancies:  Total number of women delivered is 13, yielding 18 babies.

Of these babies, 10 (55.5%) were male and 8 (44.4%) were female.

Sub-group of pregnancies from either spontaneous pregnancy, or from oral Aromatasa Inhibitor with timed intercourse, or from controlled ovarian stimulation with Intra Uterine Inseminations was 11 delivered yielding 13 babies, of whom 9 (69.2%) were male and 4 (30.8%) were females.  Average age of all patients was 37.98 years.

CONCLUSION: In keeping with previously reported variance in the ratio of male to female offspring as seen in the animal kingdom, and documented in humans in Dominant Females, it appears that the use of DHEA to improve the ovarian response in older women and those with impaired ovarian response seems to sway the odds of a male offspring quite dramatically in humans.

This is probably related to the increased intra follicular testosterone or other androgen levels in patients taking DHEA.


BOR Papers in Press, Published Jan. 9, 20008 as
DOI:10 1095/biolreprod.107.066050,
Title:  Sex of Bovine Embryos May Be Related To Mothers'
Preovulatory Follicular Testosterone,
Authors: V.J. grant, R.J. Irwin, N.T. Standley, A.N. Shelling, and L.W. Chamley,
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Universtiy of Aukland, New Zealand