Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) concentration decreases with age, therefore, DHEA has been considered a hormone that reduces the symptoms associated with aging, so the usefulness of DHEA in premenopausal and postmenopausal women, and the options of hormone therapy have received a large amount of attention.
The effectiveness of DHEA in the premenopausal women remains unclear, while in postmenopausal women with coexisting estrogens deficiency is controversial. Despite many years of study, the use of DHEA is still controversial, especially regarding its effectiveness.
The aim of present article was to evaluate DHEA specific effects on metabolic parameters, bone mineral density, insulin resistance as well as the therapeutic potential of DHEA in pre- and postmenopausal women using measures of sexual activity, cognition and well-being.
The summary of this article is the position statement of expert group of the Polish Menopause and Andropause Society regarding the efficacy and safety of DHEA supplementation in women. We concluded, that currently available clinical trials and meta-analyses indicate that DHEA supplementation is effective in women with adrenal insufficiency and chronically treated with exogenous glucocorticoids, postmenopausal women with low bone mineral density and/or osteoporosis, premenopausal women with sexual disorders and low libido, and in women with vulvovaginal atrophy due to menopause or genitourinary syndrome of menopause.
Currently available clinical trials also suggest that DHEA supplementation is probably effective in postmenopausal women with hypoactive sexual disorders, infertile women with diminished ovarian reserve, women suffering from depression and anxiety, and women with obesity and insulin resistance. No serious adverse effects have been reported.