09 Apr AMH Fertility Testing
One of the most important infertility tests we perform when evaluating female fertility factors is the AMH fertility test. AMH stands for anti-Müllerian hormone, a biochemical produced by maturing cells in your ovarian follicles. The test is performed via a simple blood sample, which can be performed at any point during your menstrual cycle. If the results seem lower than normal, your fertility specialist will speak to you about your options, including the use of a transvaginal ultrasound to confirm the test’s findings.
While AMH tests aren’t 100% accurate in whether or not you’ll be able to get pregnant, or whether fertility treatments will work, AMH blood levels are a fairly reliable indicator of how many eggs you have left.
The results are measured as follows:
- Very Low: Less than 0.3 ng/ml
- Low: 0.3 – 0.6 ng/ml
- Low-normal: 0.7 – 0.9 ng/ml
- Normal: Over 1.0 ng/ml
- High: Over 3.0 ng/ml
Contrary to what you might think, high levels of AMH aren’t desirable. They typically indicate PCOS, one of the leading causes of female infertility in the U.S. The good news here, however, is that knowing you have PCOS means the ability to treat it, which can improve your fertility chances when you’re ready to get pregnant.
Why Do AMH Blood Levels Matter?
There are several reasons why AMH blood levels matter:
You’re 35-years old or more
There’s no denying that maternal age is directly linked to the likelihood of getting pregnant without fertility treatments. After age 35, women’s egg stores decline at a rapid rate, dwindling considerably after the age of 40.
That begin said, some women have fewer eggs to begin with as a result of genetics, early menopause or hormone imbalance or the result of lifestyle or medical history. By evaluating your AMH levels, fertility specialists can create a customized fertility treatment plan that may vary from the traditional progression if we feel the quantity of viable eggs is lower than normal.
You plan to delay starting a family
Women with suspected infertility factors and women over the age of 35 aren’t the only ones getting their AMH levels tested these days. Women who are in their mid- to later-20s, especially those who are planning to delay starting a family until they achieve specific academic-, career- or other lifetime milestones increasingly visit fertility specialists to test their AMH blood levels.
The results of the tests provide insight into whether now is the best time to pursue fertility preservation, or whether they have some time to decide.
To confirm you have PCOS
PCOS can be asymptomatic, but in addition to higher AMH levels, most women who have PCOS experience one or more of the following signs:
- An apple shape – where the tummy/hips carry all the weight
- Male hair patterns (hair thinner on the scalp but more excessive on face, chest, back, etc.)
- Darker areas of pigment on skin and an abundance of moles or skin tags
- Very irregular periods or no periods at all
- Sugar cravings and a difficulty losing weight
- Moodiness or poor sleep patterns
High levels of AMH are evidence of the fact that women with PCOS may ovulate very irregularly – or not at all – and can have far more eggs available than most women their age.
It helps to customize your fertility treatment plan
If you’re pursuing fertility treatments and find out you have low-AMH levels, your doctor may recommend fast-tracking you to IVF, using ICSI, to ensure as many embryos as possible are created. Similarly, your doctor may want to introduce the idea of using donor eggs or donor embryos (especially if your partner has infertility factors as well) early on so you can keep these fertility solutions in mind if IVF isn’t successful.
Are you interested in learning more about your fertility forecast using AMH testing as a predictor? Contact us here at the Fertility Center of Dallas to schedule a consultation.