To determine if in a population of women with diminished oocyte reserve as evidenced by day 3 serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) levels > 12 mIU/ml women with lower dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-s) levels produce fewer oocytes or have lower pregnancy rates following in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) compared to women with higher levels. The women were divided into poor responders (producing < or = 4 oocytes) following oocyte retrieval or good responders (> or = 5 oocytes). Mean DHEA-s levels were compared in poor vs good responders and in the subgroups of those who conceived vs those who did not conceive. The data clearly showed no association with low DHEA-s levels and response to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation or pregnancy rates. In women with elevated serum FSH low DHEA levels do not suggest that supplementation with DHEA would improve response or pregnancy rate. These data do not preclude the possibility that there is a small subset of women with normal oocyte reserve who also fail to respond to controlled ovarian hyperstimulation for some unknown reason and the problem could be remediable by DHEA supplementation.