What does your AMH level really tell you?
Posted By: Jodie Peacock on: Tue Oct 2017
AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone)
AMH is a marker that is tested to assess your ovarian reserve. AMH is hormone that is produced by cells in your ovarian follicles called granulosa cells. The production of AMH is at its peak in the early stages of egg development before an egg reaches about 4mm in diameter. It is also thought to be secreted by eggs that haven’t started the development process. Since follicles are continually developing in the ovaries the amount of AMH is generally pretty consistent, so it can be measured at any time during you cycle. The AMH blood level is thought to reflect the amount of your egg supply or “ovarian reserve.”
How does aging impact AMH?
As we age the level of AMH in the blood decreases likely indicating the declining number of follicles that remain in the ovaries. In women with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) who have high numbers of follicles developing we can see a higher the normal AMH levels
When does AMH level become more relevant to your fertility?
Your AMH level generally won’t be tested until you begin discussing the option of IVF treatment. A study by Dr. Sherbahn looking at AMH levels and IVF success rates found that generally women with a higher AMH level will have a better response to ovarian stimulants and a higher number of eggs retrieved. This resulted in less cancelled cycles, higher pregnancy rates, more embryos being frozen and more live births. Dr Sherbahn found that a low AMH score on its own in women under the age of 35 was not predictive of poor IVF outcomes.
What AMH doesn’t tell you is about the quality of eggs. For you to have a successful pregnancy you really just need one healthy egg. So even if your AMH level is low this doesn’t mean that you won’t or can’t get pregnant.
There are several dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to improve your egg quality which will be especially important if you do have a low AMH value.