Fertility Fact: An AMH level greater than 1 suggests a good ovarian reserve.
What is Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH)?
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone produced by the cells that support the dormant pool of eggs in the ovaries. Therefore, a higher level of AMH suggests a larger pool of eggs (or a greater ovarian reserve). “This is a very useful test for us because it doesn’t tend to fluctuate as much as FSH levels and it gives us another angle to assess the ovarian reserve. As it pertains to an individual’s fertility, the higher the level, the better,” says Dr. Joseph Doyle. AMH levels are determined through a blood test and unlike other hormones, levels do not vary significantly through the menstrual cycle. This means that you can check it on any day of the cycle and it doesn’t tend to vary from cycle to cycle like FSH levels can.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH): Part of an Initial Fertility Evaluation
Anti-Mullerian Hormone is now a part of the initial fertility evaluation along with:
- Ultrasound of ovaries to determine antral follicle count (AFC).
- Bloodwork to evaluate hormones: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and luteinizing hormone (LH).
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to check for any blockages of the fallopian tubes.
- Semen analysis to test quality of sperm in the male partner.
These tests along with your medical, reproductive and family histories will help your fertility specialist determine the treatment best suited for you.
What is good ovarian reserve vs. decreased ovarian reserve?
Ovarian reserve testing is an indirect measure of the quality and number of oocytes. The ovarian reserve naturally decreases as women age. Each woman is different in where there ovarian reserve starts and the rate of change that occurs. This is partially genetically predetermined.
Good ovarian reserve would mean that you have a high number of oocytes with good function, while poor ovarian reserve would mean you have a lower number of oocytes with decreased function.
The most important modifying factor of ovarian reserve is age. Decreased ovarian reserve in a younger patient (<35 years of age) is not necessarily the same as decreased ovarian reserve in an older patient. A younger woman may have decreased ovarian reserve and though the number of eggs present may be decreased, because of her age, the egg quality may still be high. Age in combination with an assessment of ovarian reserve and the other elements of your fertility evaluation will determine your treatment path.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons by calling 877-971-7755.