The “new” fertility test: AMH
Everyone talks about the female “biological clock.” If you’re curious to know how fast yours is ticking, there’s a simple blood test that provides the answer: AMH testing.
Anti-Mullerian hormone, or AMH, is continuously produced by the ovarian granulosa cells in the small, egg-containing follicles within your ovaries. These cells started producing AMH before you were even born, and continue to do so throughout your life, until you reach menopause. Because these levels decline the closer you get to menopause, they are an excellent indicator of your remaining egg supply, or ovarian reserve.
Who can benefit from AMH testing?
The anti-Mullerian hormone blood test has become the gold standard for ovarian reserve testing because these levels remain stable over time, unlike other hormone levels that fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle. AMH testing can be performed at any time during your cycle, and the results won’t be affected by pregnancy or use of birth control pills.
Our Louisiana fertility centers typically order AMH testing for women who:
- Have undiagnosed infertility, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or suspected ovulation dysfunction
- Want to better understand their menopausal status
- Are considering egg freezing and want to learn about their ovarian reserve
- Need an evaluation of their potential response to ovarian stimulation medications
- Want to know what their fertility potential is so that they can better plan parenthood
Women with high anti-Mullerian hormone levels have a higher ovarian reserve, meaning there are more eggs in their ovaries. If these women need IVF or want to pursue fertility preservation, they tend to respond better to ovarian stimulation medications, and are likely to have more eggs retrieved. A very high AMH level can indicate PCOS, as well as put a woman at higher risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) with ovarian stimulation medications.
Women with low levels of AMH typically have low ovarian reserve, and very low levels indicate that a woman is approaching or in menopause. Women with low AMH levels often don’t produce many eggs, even with intense ovarian stimulation, making it harder to achieve pregnancy.
Because AMH testing can explain so much about the causes of infertility, it’s often the first test we order for women who have been struggling to conceive. The information provided by an AMH test can assist your physician in developing the best treatment plan for you. To learn more about this test and ovarian reserve testing, contact our Louisiana fertility centers to schedule an appointment.