Do I Need An AMH Test?

During a patient’s in vitro fertilization (IVF) journey, a fertility clinic may recommend anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) testing. The test can be instrumental in improving the chances of a successful procedure. A woman’s ovarian reserve, the existing pool of follicles available in the ovaries, plays a crucial role in creating healthy embryos for implantation. AMH testing can give some insight into the number of eggs that can possibly be retrieved, helping to set realistic expectations. The test can also help couples understand available infertility treatment options. With AMH testing, all parties involved are more prepared for what’s to come.


Breaking down a special hormone

The anti-Müllerian hormone is created by small follicles in the woman’s ovaries. Women are born with a set number of follicles in the ovaries. Follicles are released during menstruation, and the ovarian reserve diminishes as a woman ages. Mature follicles produce AMH. Therefore, the higher the hormone in the bloodstream, the more follicles a woman may possess. There is no clear method to calculate the exact number and quality of follicles in the ovaries. However, AMH testing is a marker for developing follicles, which can help fertility teams predict the likelihood of extracting multiple eggs.

Testing and reading your results

A blood test can help determine a woman’s AMH levels and other hormone markers essential for fertility. A woman under 30 should have at least 3.0ng per 1mL, but this number cuts in half for a 35-year-old woman. From age 40, less than 0.5ng per 1mL is severely low, meaning the woman is likely to have a poor ovarian reserve. Women at different ages can have higher or lower AMH levels. Discuss the numbers with a doctor or fertility clinic. While AMH testing is useful, the test is just a single indicator. However, the results may provide some context for the next steps in the IVF journey.

AMH results and your IVF journey

Testing helps to set realistic expectations for the egg retrieval process. A severely low AMH may mean there will be challenges in acquiring the desired number of eggs. AMH testing can also guide fertility medication recommendations. Higher AMH levels can signal the patient needs a more tailored dose of gonadotropins or other medications used during IVF. Lower AMH levels can indicate that more fertility drugs are necessary to avoid a poor yield. Without the guidance of AMH testing, women are at risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) or failing to produce eggs. Testing has quickly become essential in guiding future fertility decisions.

What are my options, doc?

Anti-Müllerian hormone testing also helps paint the entire picture of IVF treatment for patients and doctors. If the AMH results suggest a lower egg reserve, the fertility team can conduct additional testing to find the root cause. While age plays a role, issues like endometriosis, genetic factors, endocrine disruptors, or autoimmune conditions can also lead to low AMH levels. Addressing the root cause may increase the overall success rate of IVF. Testing also helps couples decide whether egg donation or adoption may be better options if the IVF cycle fails.

Consider AMH testing today

Anti-Müllerian hormone testing is a powerful tool in predicting the outcome of IVF. The test can help improve the chances of success by allowing the healthcare team to take preemptive steps during treatment. The results also help doctors adjust hormone medication to yield the highest possible follicles during IVF. Women with low AMH levels should not give up hope. While the test helps estimate quantity, AMH levels cannot determine egg quality. Doctors can suggest strategies such as lifestyle changes, stress reduction, and supplementation to help egg quality improve. Discuss the possibility of AMH testing as soon as possible to work on improving IVF outcomes.

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