One of the best fertility tests we offer at our Idaho Fertility Center facility is the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) testing. This test is considered the most accurate predictor of how many eggs a woman has left in her ovaries. A woman is born carrying a reserve full of eggs, which are used up over the span of her fertile lifetime. Each month after menstruation begins a batch of eggs begins to develop and mature. As the amount of eggs diminishes with age, it also lowers the AMH levels and diminishes ovarian reserve (DOR), creating a low egg count. When a woman enters menopause, we will no longer detect AMH levels.
AMH is made by the tiny immature follicles kept inside a woman’s ovaries. Basically, a woman’s AMH levels tell us how many follicles are available when it comes to fertilization. The greater the number of immature follicles, the higher the AMH level will be. AMH is not however able to determine the quality of the remaining eggs but quality does conversely decline with a women’s age. Although some women have premature ovarian failure earlier or a lower egg reserve at a younger age, most women have less trouble conceiving in their 20’s and earlier 30’s.
How AMH Levels Affect Treatment
One of the best things about the anti-Müllerian hormone is that our reproductive endocrinologist can measure your AMH levels by taking a simple blood test. We can check those AMH levels anytime during your menstrual cycle. Because AMH is a reliable and early way to assess ovarian function, it also helps us predict how your body will likely respond to fertility treatments. This includes the possibility of freezing eggs so we can order AMH testing as part of egg freezing testing.
AMH testing can also help us determine how your body will respond to stimulation medication — including an excessive response. This means we can customize your stimulation protocol to help you have better results. If you are on a combination of contraceptives, this can help predict the number of your eggs and if the ovaries are aging faster than they should be. Remember, that your age is the best measure of your egg quality. The older you get, the lower your egg quality typically becomes.
Factors Affecting AMH Levels
There are a variety of factors that could impact your AMH levels, including having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), giving you higher baseline AMH levels. Your AMH levels are also typically higher if you have insulin-resistant PCOS.
Another factor is your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) created by your pituitary gland. This hormone works with sexual development and function by stimulating the eggs in the ovaries to develop, raising your estrogen and later, progesterone levels. When your FSH levels are high it points to low ovarian reserves while low AMH level points to a low reserve. What makes AMH measurement a better predictor of your ovarian reserves is that not only do those levels remain consistent during your menstrual cycle but from cycle to cycle as well.
Enlist Our Fertility Center Team
Lower AMH levels will also lessen the number of eggs during retrieval. Measuring your AMH levels to determine your ovarian reserve or the number of eggs you have at the time of testing, is still a great diagnostic tool when embarking on your fertility journey. If you have any questions or concerns about your fertility, our experienced team is ready to help. We invite you to call our Idaho Fertility Center in Idaho Falls today at 208-529-2019 to take that first step!