In a study, DHEA appeared to ease the severity of menopause symptoms, including one of the most frustrating: decreased sexual appetite.
For some women going through menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can mean the difference between unbearable and manageable symptoms. But HRT has been getting a lot of negative press recently, as studies have shown increased risk for cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
Some women, wary of these risks, may be looking for another option. Now there could be one. The adrenal hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) appears to ease the severity of menopause symptoms, including a particularly frustrating one for many women: decreased sexual function. In women and in men, DHEA serves as a precursor hormone from which other reproductive hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, are synthesized.
The new study followed 48 women who had been suffering from menopause symptoms for a year. The women were divided into four groups. One group took low-dose DHEA; one took standard estrogen-progesterone HRT; one group took a synthetic hormone called tibolone, which has previously been suggested to improve menopause symptoms; and the last took a vitamin D supplement.