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Can Low AMH create a problem in Conception

What is AMH?

Before we talk about what an AMH test is, I think it is important for women to understand the basics of female fertility.

Women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have in their life.

  • We’re born with 1-2 million eggs.
  • More than half our eggs disintegrate by the time we go through puberty (sounds alarming, but this is normal).
  • 800-1,000 eggs undergo natural cell death each month — but only one makes it to the finish line (ovulation). If it’s fertilized, it may result in a pregnancy — if not, you’ll get a period. This happens every month, although if you’re on hormonal birth control (like the pill), you may not be ovulating or getting a period.
  • AMH generally peaks at age 25, and then AMH (and egg count) begin to gradually decline.
  • Around age 35 (ish — it’s different for every woman), our ovarian reserve decline becomes more rapid.
  • By menopause, egg count and AMH drop to undetectable levels.

Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is one of the indicators of the number of eggs in your ovaries, or your ovarian reserve. AMH is produced by granulosa cells in your ovarian follicles — meaning the tiny sacs in your ovaries that house and release eggs.

Low AMH levels are generally considered to be an indicator of a low ovarian reserve. It is quite normal for a woman’s AMH levels to decline as she gets older, and in younger women, this may be a sign of premature loss of fertility.

What does AMH mean in regards to your fertility?

AMH is an important fertility test to tell us about a woman’s ovarian reserve as it stands today. Higher AMH values, usually signify that a woman has a normal ovarian reserve.  Lower numbers may indicate a woman with diminished ovarian reserve (DOR).

We know that a woman’s fertility declines as she ages so typically we see AMH values also start to decline as women age. The value of this test is that a woman with a low AMH can choose to do something about her fertility now if she desires a family for the future.

Why get an AMH test done?

While planning your family, it is important that you understand your fertility. While your AMH level isn’t a crystal ball into your fertility future — meaning it is not a predictor of your ability to conceive today or at a certain time in the future — it does give you more info about your reproductive health: an understanding of your ovarian reserve, egg freezing or in-vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes, menopause timing, and conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and premature ovarian insufficiency (POI).

Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is one of the best indicators of the number of eggs in your ovaries, or your ovarian reserve.

Why does understanding our ovarian reserve matter? Women with lower levels of AMH for their age are likely to have a shorter reproductive window than women with normal levels of AMH for their age. Additionally, it can help with setting realistic expectations on the number of eggs that may be retrieved. It can also indicate how you will respond to medication should you decide to proceed with IVF either for infertility or for egg freezing. 

When looking at your AMH test results, it’s important to remember that even if it’s normal, it’s still possible to experience fertility issues because age, along with many other factors, still plays a big role. Aside from your ovarian reserve, your egg quality is the other big piece of the puzzle. Unfortunately, there is no test for egg quality, so age is the best predictor we have.

What AMH is not:

A predictor of whether a woman can get pregnant spontaneously in the future.

It only takes one healthy egg (and one healthy sperm!) to make a baby, so low ovarian reserve doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get pregnant.  But it is helpful to know how AMH impacts the female reproductive system, and why your reproductive years might be shorter than you realized.

Can you increase AMH levels?

AMH levels will inevitably decrease as you get older, so low AMH at some point is expected and will happen to everyone with ovaries. But what if you have low AMH at a younger age?

At the moment, there’s no known “cure” for low AMH, but potential methods for increasing levels are being studied.

It’s important to understand, however, that even if raising AMH levels was deemed possible, it wouldn’t reverse egg loss — once an egg is gone, it’s gone.

Should I get an AMH test?

We are big proponents of women being educated about their fertility so they feel empowered to make decisions regarding their health. One piece of that education is knowing what your ovarian reserve looks like at a given point in time and once you have that information, what, if anything you want to do about it.

AMH values can help you determine if you want to do something NOW for your fertility. Remember AMH tells you what your ovarian reserve is now. They can’t predict how quickly your ovarian reserve will decline in the future and they can’t predict if you will be able to get pregnant spontaneously on your own. Only when women are armed with all of the knowledge will they be able to make informed decisions about their health!

Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?

You don’t need any special preparations for an AMH test.

Are there any risks to the test?

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruise at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

Don’t let your resistance win. It’s time for you to get your AMH test done, boost your fertility, and have a healthy baby. The best way to improve your fertility is by getting in touch with your fertility specialist. At Origyn IVF, we believe that every person has a different fertility story and so do you. Take free consultation from us and get started with your fertility treatment now. 

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