If you have premature ovarian failure and are trying to conceive there are a number of novel treatment strategies that have been shown to help. This Canadian study - published in Fertility and Sterility - explores the merit of treating premature ovarian failure with prednisone, a steroid hormone which has in previous studies been shown to increase ovarian responsiveness to stimulation.
The study used a high-dose but short-term burst of steroids to restart ovarian follicle production with some success. Eleven women diagnosed with infertility and premature ovarian failure received 25 mg of prednisone four times a day for two weeks which is considered a high dose.
Interestingly two of the women had an increase in estradiol, normalized gonadotropins and had evidence of ovarian follicles when examined by ultrasound. Both conceived. The other women in the study did not experience any changes to their hormones or ovaries and did not conceive but the study showed that for some, steroid treatment may restore ovulation and enable conception, the researchers concluded that:
"Premature ovarian failure may not be an irreversible process and may either spontaneously resolve or may respond to therapeutic modalities such as high-dose glucocorticoids in selected patients. In this uncontrolled study, the results were best with women with concomitant autoimmune thyroid disease and POF of < 2 years' duration."
Other studies have shown that women with autoimmune thyroid disease are more likely to also have an autoimmune ovarian disease which is marked by the production of anti-ovarian antibodies (AOAs). In such women it is possible for steroids to suppress the autoimmune activity in the ovary allowing the ovary to restore function. Other strategies of merit include the use of DHEA in relatively high doses which have also been shown to rejuvenate the ovaries of some women with poor ovarian reserve and premature ovarian failure.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT intended to diagnose, offer medical or nutritional treatment or replace medical or nutritional advice for which you should consult a suitably qualified physician or licensed dietitian.
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Fertil Steril. 1993 May;59(5):988-91. High-dose, short-term glucocorticoids for the treatment of infertility resulting from premature ovarian failure. Corenblum B, et al.,