AMH, or the anti-Mullerian hormone, is that indicator of the ovarian reserve that a woman of childbearing age has at a certain stage of life. Although it is especially recommended for those experiencing infertility, the AMH test can be done by any woman who wants to know what the chances are of getting pregnant in the future.
“Often, the chronological age is not the same as the reproductive age of the ovaries. Checking fertility before the age of 30 can increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant naturally, as it is known that after this age, fertility decreases rapidly, “says Andreas Vythoulkas, an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in infertility.
To better understand, the specialist explains: during each menstrual cycle, a woman loses hundreds of follicles and only one, in the happy case, ends up releasing an egg. AMH is the hormone that balances the egg production process so that it is released every 28 days. The ovarian reserve decreases over the years. If at birth a woman has around two million follicles, at puberty their number is around 400,000, and at the onset of menopause their number barely reaches 1,000 follicles.
The test is simple to do
The test is a simple blood sample, which can be collected at any time and on any day of the menstrual cycle. “The low level of the hormone shows the imminent approach of menopause. High values can also occur in people with polycystic ovary syndrome, but also as a reaction to treatment for in vitro fertilization procedure. The AMH level is negatively influenced by: age, ovarian infections, smoking, obesity or underweight and ovarian surgeries “, says Andreas Vythoulkas.
How to interpret the result
Although it is not possible to say exactly what the normal value of this hormone should be, here are some guiding interpretations:
– a value higher than 4.0 ng / ml – increased fertility, but also polycystic ovaries
– between 1.5 and 4.0 ng / ml – normal level of follicles
– between 1.0 and 1.5 ng / ml – the ovarian reserve is decreasing
– between 0.5 and 1.0 ng / ml – close to menopause
– value less than 0.5 ng / ml – onset of menopause
The value of the AMH test is especially useful before an in vitro fertilization procedure. Depending on it, the drug treatment for ovarian stimulation is dosed. “The IVF procedure is based on stimulating the ovaries, in order to obtain more eggs to be fertilized. A low ovarian reserve will require a more intense stimulation “, explains the doctor.
If you want to take the AMH test for your pure curiosity, so that you know how much you can delay the conception of a child, find out that this analysis offers absolutely no indication of the quality of the oocytes. They can be numerous, but of poor quality. And age is a major cause of quality decline.