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Erectile dysfunction and decreased libido are two reasons why patients have a lower quality of life as they age. DHEA may represent a supplement that both males and females can take in order to not only improve their sex drive, both also other benefits.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is a hormone that has received much attention in the last several years for various reasons. The most notable stem from the fact that recent research has suggested that DHEA is a "super-hormone" and that levels naturally fall as a person ages. DHEA acts as a precursor to sex hormones in both males and females so giving it should increase testosterone and estrogen in users to improve their sex life.In various studies, science does support these claims, and we now know that we can use DHEA to improve our immune system, increase muscle strength, help heal bones and even enhance our cholesterol. [1] Another unfortunate side effect of aging is the decrease in sexual function that both males and females experience as they age. Women will no longer have sexual libido they once had due to lower levels of estrogen and men are more prone to having erectile dysfunction. As we have discussed before, there are some natural treatments for erectile dysfunction to help alleviate this condition. Vitamins and dietary supplements for ED like Vitamins D and E or VXP can contribute to improving erectile potential, but in this article, I discuss some DHEA supplements proven to help erectile dysfunction as well. 

DHEA Impacts on Men

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by many disorders, most likely chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, psychiatric disorders or other systemic diseases [2]. With such a broad base of underlying conditions that are possible, how effective can DHEA actually be?

One study tried to put that question to the test. In this investigation, patients were split into four different groups based on their underlying illness.These groups were specific for conditions like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, neurological disorders and no organic etiology. These patients were given 50 milligrams of DHEA orally for six months, and the focus of the study was to determine the number of successful penetrations and erections after penetrations. It was determined that after this 6-month period, DHEA made a statistically significant difference in erection frequency in patients with hypertension or no identified organic cause of ED. It did not make a difference in patients that had diabetes mellitus or neurological disorders, however. [3]

There is no secret that men with lower levels of DHEA naturally have more issues with erectile function. Multiple studies confirm that the lower the DHEA level, the more prolonged and severe erectile dysfunction normally will be [4].

DHEA will be able to improve other physiological parameters like muscle strength and reduce fat body mass, so it will have systemic benefits no localized to just your penis [5].  As you can see, however, this DHEA supplement proven to help erectile dysfunction is unhelpful in certain underlying cases. 

DHEA Impacts on Women

Even though women do not have erectile dysfunction, a similar process occurs where libido is decreased, and women are not interested in having sexual intercourse. DHEA plays a role in helping alleviate this disorder as well because of its universal role as a precursor to sex hormones. In an extensive investigation, 1,273 menopausal women were given DHEA supplementation to determine if supplementation would improve postmenopausal symptoms. In these studies, it was determined that DHEA did have some impact on improving libido and sexual performance. It was unclear whether DHEA did have any effect on improving menopausal symptoms, however. [6]

As we have discovered in our first article, vitamins and dietary supplements for ED are beneficial in improving the quality of an erection. One of the most promising natural treatments for erectile dysfunction was using vitamin D. This is a vitamin that is also very beneficial for women because of the increased risk they face for osteoporosis after menopause begins. Although DHEA may not conclusively make a significant difference in the sex drive of a female patient, DHEA does have a great role in regulating bone mineral density changes. Studies suggest that as DHEA levels decrease in women, there is a corresponding reduction in bone mineral density and osteoporosis will worsen.

In one study, both male and female patients between the ages of 65 and 75 were given 75 milligrams of DHEA  daily for 2 years. The focus of the study was to determine if there was a difference in the bone mineral density after administration of the medication. At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that DHEA had no effect on male patients but female patients who took this DHEA supplement had significantly more dense spinal bones compared to control groups. [7]

Unfortunately, our investigation into DHEA has not been a resounding success, and it is impossible to recommend DHEA for erectile irregularities wholeheartedly.

 There are some DHEA supplements proven to help erectile dysfunction as long as the cause is underlying hypertension, but if an organic cause like diabetes or psychiatric condition is at play, DHEA will not make a difference. In women, although it may help increase libido marginally, it does have secondary benefits like increasing bone density, so it is easier to recommend this supplement therapy for women.  

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