Menopause FAQs: DHEA explains the effectiveness of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), also known as Prasterone and Intrarosa, for the treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Dehydroepiandrosterone

What is dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)?

In Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Natural Products – DHEA last updated May 2017, the (United States) National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health’s (NCCIH) definition is:

  • “Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a substance that’s naturally made in the body, where it’s converted into the hormones testosterone and estrogen”.

Aging

Is there an association between aging and DHEA?

In Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Natural Products – DHEA the NCCIH elaborate on:

“DHEA production decreases as people grow older, but the significance of this change, including whether it affects aging and menopause symptoms, is unclear”.

Menopausal Symptoms

How effective is DHEA for the treatment of menopausal symptoms?

In Menopausal Symptoms: In Depth – What the Science Says About Complementary Approaches for Menopause Symptoms: Natural Products – DHEA the NCCIH note:

  • “It’s uncertain whether DHEA is useful in treating menopause symptoms”.

In Healthy Aging: In-Depth – DHEA: Evidence for Anti-Aging Claims Is Weak – What Does DHEA Have To Do With Aging? dated 05 October 2017, the (United States) Mayo Clinic also note:

Menopause FAQs: DHEA
“Limited research suggests that DHEA might improve vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women and that the supplement might improve bone mineral density in elderly people with low DHEA. But improvements in bone density were small compared with those seen after treatment with approved osteoporosis medications. Research on the effects of DHEA on well-being and body composition has had mixed results, and most studies indicate no effect of DHEA on cognitive function or on muscle size or strength”.

Vaginal Atrophy

Is DHEA an effective treatment for vaginal atrophy?

On page two in Vaginal Dryness: Treatment Options – Other Prescription Therapies dated 2018, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) explain:

  • “Dehydroepiandrasterone (DHEA) is a hormone-containing insert placed into the vagina nightly for the treatment of painful intercourse caused by vaginal atrophy. Although DHEA can be converted in the body to other hormones, including estrogen, blood levels of hormones do not appear to increase with vaginal use of low-dose DHEA”.

In DHEA: How Effective Is It? last reviewed 06 September 2018, the (United States) MedlinePlus note the effectiveness rating is:

“Likely Effective for…

  • Vaginal thinning. The walls of the vagina can become thinner after menopause. This can cause pain during sex. Using vaginal inserts containing DHEA can reduce pain during sex by up to 15% in women after menopause. A prescription DHEA product (Intrarosa, Endoceutics Inc.) is used for this condition”.

Health Care Provider

What if I choose to use DHEA?

If you choose to use DHEA it may be in your best interest to also choose to talk to your health care provider about this.

In Anti-Aging Hormones: What Are the Risks of Taking DHEA Without A Doctor’s Advice? last updated December 2018, the (United States) Hormone Health Network note:

“Overall, doctors do not recommend taking human growth hormone or DHEA to improve quality of life. Instead, they recommend strategies such as getting enough exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating a balanced diet. If you’re worried about your health, talk with your doctor about what’s best for you”.

Menopause FAQs

Where may I find more menopause FAQs?

In Menopause FAQs: Expert Answers To Frequently Asked Questions About Menopause the NAMS include Menopause FAQs: DHEA Menopause FAQS: Hot Flashes: Q. Is it safe to take dietary supplements or herbal therapies for my menopause symptoms?

“A. No over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplement or herbal therapies have been found to be effective on menopause symptoms”.

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Last Updated: 22 July 2019 – Last Revised: 22 July 2019
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