How long do I have to take dexamethasone for, and what is 17-OHP?

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“Part of my current fertility treatment includes dexamethasone, due to high levels of 17-OHP. The dexamethasone has lowered this level, but I was still told to keep taking it. Why? And what role does 17-OHP play in fertility?”

17-OHP and cortisol are circulating hormones found in all women. In general, any hormone that is found to be markedly outside of the normal range may have the potential to impact fertility, often by causing irregular menstrual cycles.

That’s why we often look at 17-OHP in women with irregular cycles.

Will the dexamethasone help you? Must you take it during pregnancy? Our generic advice when it comes to taking steroid supplements (like dexamethasone) is to proceed with caution and consider getting a second opinion.

For example, your doctor might be able to refer you to an “Antenatal Assessment Unit” where you could ask the obstetricians what they think of continuing to take dexamethasone once you’re pregnant.

It’s also important to know that dexamethasone therapy is not a routine practice across all fertility clinics.

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