The first step in fertility treatment is testing, and while some of it is straightforward, many couples embarking on this journey have questions about how AMH testing works. AMH is short for Anti-Mullerian Hormone. This glycoprotein hormone is part of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily, but that isn’t the type of information that helps couples pursuing fertility treatment. The important thing is that AMH gives a doctor important information about a woman’s ovarian reserve.
Girls are both with their lifetime supply of eggs. This supply declines as we age and use up eggs at each menstrual cycle. Fortunately, we are born with far more eggs than the ones we ovulate in each menstrual cycle. But frustratingly, that does not guarantee a pregnancy.
The level of AMH indicates the egg supply an individual has left, roughly when she can expect menopause and if she has a condition such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or Premature ovarian failure (POF). A low level of AMH suggests that a woman does not have a large supply of eggs. But a high level can also indicate problems that can interfere with fertility, particularly PCOS.
A woman’s AMH and her ovarian supply generally decline with age. How AMH testing works is that it tells the doctor if an individual woman’s AMH level is appropriate for her age. It also indicates what type of issue could be preventing her from conceiving without medical intervention. That information will guide her fertility treatment plan.
How AMH Levels Are Tested
AMH is tested with a simple blood sample, at any moment of the month and does not require fasting. The results won’t be affected by anything a woman eats or does prior to the blood draw.
This test is rarely performed in isolation, it is part of a panel of tests designed to give doctors a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of how the woman’s reproductive system is functioning. AMH testing is usually done at the same time Other hormonal parameters depending on the couples presenting condition.
It is also done in conjunction with an ultrasound scan to get as much information about the woman’s ovarian function as possible.
Knowing a woman’s AMH levels can help doctors calculate the optimum dose of hormones for her to take for in-vitro fertilization (IVF). It also helps predict how she will respond to hormone treatment. This means that every patient gets a dose precisely tailored to her body’s hormone levels to give her the best possible chance of a successful IVF cycle and a healthy baby.
Because it is so fundamental to the process and provides so much useful information, this testing is one of the most important steps to help a couple conceive. Tailoring fertility treatment means each woman can start with the treatment most likely to succeed for her.
If you have further questions about the tests, get in touch with us today.