For a successful IVF treatment, the female should have a sufficient number of viable eggs to extract and the male must have healthy sperm. So, how does a doctor determine if the female partner seeking treatment has enough eggs for an IVF or other fertility treatments? An AMH can help determine this without any delay.
AMH – Anti-Mullerian Hormone is a hormone produced by the small follicles in a woman’s body. This hormone produced in the granulosa cells in the ovarian follicles helps determine the number of oocytes left.
Your OB-GYN or gynecologist might ask for an AMH test when you approach them for fertility issues.
AMH test helps understand a woman’s egg reserve. A woman’s ovaries make thousands of eggs throughout her reproductive years. The number of eggs produced starts decreasing with age. The rate of decrease, and the number of eggs left, all vary from woman to woman.
Though the number of eggs is expected to start decreasing after she crosses 30 years of age, one can never be too sure of the exact number. The AMH test can help determine the possible number of eggs left by measuring the Anti-Mullerian hormone.
The higher the AMH in her blood, the more eggs she will have in reserve. If the AMH decreases, it indicates the egg reserve is also decreasing.
The AMH test can also help in the following ways:
The AMH test is not routine test doctors conduct when you go for a consultation. If you are above 30 and are experiencing difficulty in getting pregnant, your fertility doctor might ask for an AMH test. This will help them determine if you have a healthy reserve of eggs for fertilization.
Earlier, this test was done only for those women who were battling infertility and were getting ready for an IVF. The AMH test allowed the doctors to know if and how many more viable eggs the woman may have left for the IVF cycle. It helped them determine the best course of treatment and how long they can keep trying.
Since this is not a routine test and has not been in practice until recent times, there is not enough data to conclude a healthy range. On average, the doctors agree a normal range for
Anti-mullerian hormone can be 1.5 to 4 ng/Ml. Anything below 1.5 ng/Ml is considered low and anything above 4 ng/Ml is considered high. The range calculation can vary from lab to lab.
In some labs, less than 0.5 ng/Ml is considered very low while in some labs less than 0.3 ng/Ml is considered very low. The right person to advise you on the range would be your fertility specialist
In reality, 0.4 ng/Ml and 0.5 ng/Ml may not make a big difference but they will fall under different categories of interpreting the AMH levels. Remember, despite a low AMH level a woman can get pregnant easily and a woman with high AMH levels can still face difficulty in conceiving as many other factors play a role when it comes to pregnancy.
AMH range is useful to know the number of viable eggs a woman has left. It can help her decide the next course of action if she is not ready to conceive yet but wants to do so in the future. It cannot guarantee she will have a successful pregnancy.
Wondering how is AMH test done? Though the findings sound complicated, it is just a simple blood test that can be taken on any day irrespective of your menstrual cycle. Blood from the woman’s veins is drawn using a thin needle and then sent to the lab for a detailed analysis of the egg.
AMH is a hormone that helps understand how many eggs are left in reserve for a woman. Hormones can be influenced by many factors. Studies show that a woman’s menstrual cycle and hormonal fluctuations do not affect the test results but external factors can.
If you are on oral contraceptives, it can supress your AMH levels. Also, the results can vary from one pathology department to another. Your doctor will have to decide which is right and which is wrong.
If you are a woman over the age of 30 and have difficulty conceiving, you may want to check your AMH levels. Despite low levels of AMH, a woman can still get pregnant, because she is still producing viable eggs every cycle. It may take a little more time than expected.
Unless you are facing fertility issues or plan to get pregnant at a later age and want to freeze your eggs, an AMH test may not be required. Sometimes, seeing a number lesser than normal can be very concerning and stressful. Overall it is a personal choice to know about your egg reserve. If you are young and plan to have babies early, and face no fertility issues, there is no medical requirement for such information.
Now, what can you do if your AMH levels are low, indicating a decrease in egg reserve?
If you don’t want to get pregnant yet, you can talk to a good fertility doctor and discuss your options. If your egg reserve is too low, you can even extract and freeze them for later use. You will need a well-equipped fertility clinic with experienced and open-minded doctors who can help you find a feasible solution.