AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone) is a hormone that can help predict your ovarian reserve. Your ovarian follicles contact granulosa cells, which produce AMH — the more eggs, the more AMH. Therefore, the amount of AMH in your body is a good indicator of the number of eggs in your ovarian reserve. Additionally, they can be used to predict the number of eggs you may produce during each cycle, and will be of use to determine your medication dosages.
What do AMH tests reveal?
In addition to the AMH test, your doctor will combine your AMH levels with your age and your antral follicle count (AFC). Your AFC is determined by counting the number of egg-producing follicles on each ovary.
Dr Mark P. Trolice, director, Fertility CARE: The IVF Center, stresses that your age is the best predictor of your egg health. “While both quantity and quality decline as you get older, age is the best indicator for your pregnancy chances.”
A low level of AMH usually represents a diminished ovarian reserve (DOR) (also known as egg count), but it is not definitive. It’s also important to note that a high level of AMH does not represent the quality of your eggs — AMH tells you nothing about egg quality, just quantity.
How are AMH levels determined?
Your AMH levels are tested with a simple blood test taken at any time during your cycle. The following conservative guidelines define the lower levels of AMH serum at each age:
25 years old: 3.0 ng/mL (nanograms per millilitre)
30 years old: 2.5 ng/mL
35 years old: 1.5 ng/ mL
40 years old: 1.0 ng/mL
45 years old: 0.5 ng/mL
If your AMH levels fall below 1.6 ng/mL, you will likely produce a lower number of eggs for IVF retrieval. Levels below 0.4 ng/mL are considered critically low. Your doctor can further review the results with you as it is natural and normal for your AMH and egg reserve to deplete as you get older.
Can AMH levels predict IVF success?
This is a hard question to answer – it has many caveats. Simply put, if you produce more eggs during IVF stimulation and retrieval, you have a higher chance of good embryos developing during your transfer. However, these eggs may not be of the highest quality — as you have fewer eggs, you also end up with fewer quality eggs.
Lower AMH levels of less than 1.0 nanograms per millilitre are associated with issues that can hinder your IVF success.
Higher chances of abnormal fertilisation.
A higher chance your cycle will be cancelled due to no retrieved eggs.
Lower egg yield.
Dr Trolice says, “as a woman ages, the percentage of chromosomally abnormal eggs contributing to abnormal embryos increases. So, the lower the number of eggs retrieved, the less percentage of embryos.” Even if you have a high AMH level at an older age, you may have fewer quality eggs remaining.
Can you improve your AMH levels?
You cannot increase your AMH levels, but there are plenty of things you can do to improve the quality of the eggs you do have.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Limit or completely stop your consumption of alcohol.
Lower your stress levels.
Take prenatal supplements.
Treating any existing ovarian cysts or fallopian tube blockages.
Speak with your fertility specialist to find out more about what you can do to improve your egg quality.
Are AMH levels useful?
Ultimately, AMH can be a useful test, but should never be used solely as a measure of fertility. As Dr Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine in New York, says, “All it takes is one egg each cycle. AMH is not a marker of whether you can or cannot become pregnant.”
Egg Donation, Inc’s Southern California agency in Los Angeles is proud to work alongside some of the best IVF Clinics throughout the Nation. At the forefront of advances in egg donation technology, including offering AMH testing on our egg donors, we invite you to see why we are one of the leading egg donation agencies. Visit our about us pages to see what makes us the agency of choice.
Story Source: This article originally appeared on IVF Babble’s website.