AMH Test Results Explained
Confused about the AMH blood test and what it means for your fertility? What is low AMH? Can you increase your AMH? We make it easy for you to understand.
Low AMH indicates ovarian reserve
AMH is a hormone produced in the ovaries from the follicles. Follicles are the tiny cysts which contain the eggs. The more eggs there are, the higher your AMH level will be.
Women produce all of the eggs they are ever going to have in their lives before they are born. Over time, the eggs degenerate so AMH levels decrease over time.
Not all women lose their eggs at the same rate. Sometimes younger women can have lower AMH levels than you would have guessed based on their age.
Anything that damages your ovaries can reduce your AMH
Surgery on the ovaries such as removing an ovarian cyst, can inadvertently removed some eggs from the ovaries and this will lower AMH.
Diseases of the ovary like endometriosis can also reduce the egg number and therefore reduce AMH.
Smoking speeds up the process of egg degeneration so it lowers AMH also.
Other important factors that can lower your egg number and your AMH include chemotherapy and radiation to treat cancer.
High AMH is common in PCOS
In women with PCOS each follicle produces 75 times more AMH than in women without PCOS. As a result, women with PCOS often have much higher levels of AMH than you would expect given their age.
Doctors can therefore use a image to help diagnose PCOS.
For women without infertility, AMH doesn’t predict ability to get pregnant
In 2017, researchers in North Carolina started following 750 women without a history of infertility who had just started trying to conceive. After one year, they compared the AMH levels in women who became pregnant and those who didn't.
They found that women with low AMH levels became pregnant just as often as women with normal AMH levels.
In other words, AMH did not predict fertility problems in this group. If you do not have infertility there is no reason for you to have an AMH blood test done.
Low AMH does not mean it’s impossible to get pregnant
As i stated previously, low AMH levels don't help predict whether fertile women will get pregnant in the next year. Even women who have infertility will sometimes still be able to get pregnant either on their own or with fertility treatment.
It is important to note that the rate of pregnancy with fertility treatments in infertile women with low AMH is lower than would be expected based on their age.
AMH is a good predictor of response to fertility medications
If you do have infertility or don't have infertility but are going to be doing a treatment that involves the use of fertility injections, like for fertility preservation, then AMH is a very strong predictor of how you will respond to fertility medications.
Women with low AMH don't respond as well. They require more aggressive treatment protocols and higher doses of medications but still end up with lower numbers of eggs and more cycles that get cancelled for poor response.
Women with high AMH levels however, like women with PCOS, can respond very vigorously and produce lots of eggs. They are at greater risk for developing a problem called hyper-stimulation syndrome. These women should use a lower dose of medication.
AMH levels can fluctuate
Compared to other tests for ovarian reserve, like the hormone FSH, there is a lot less variability in AMH levels. But there is some. AMH levels will vary a little bit depending on where you're at in your menstrual cycle and whether you are currently taking birth control pills.
It is also possible that your AMH levels can be affected by how your doctor's office processed your blood after it was drawn. AMH is a very fragile molecule. It breaks down very quickly if it is not handled correctly and this can give you a falsely low level.
AMH cannot determine how quickly your fertility will decline
AMH only gives you a snapshot of where your ovarian reserve right now. It does not tell you how fast it is declining.
You won't be able to predict your AMH level in a year or in five years.
However, if you are young and your AMH level is low, you may go through menopause at an earlier age than average. How much earlier cannot be predicted.
There are no supplements or medications which will improve your AMH
There is currently no technology which can create new eggs in your ovaries. Thus, there is no way to increase your AMH levels.
There are lots of frauds, charlatans and crooks out there who know you are desperate and they are after your money. They want to sell you some diet or supplement they say will improve your AMH.
Don't believe them!
We have been studying this for years and to date, we have never seen any good evidence that anything improves the number of eggs in your ovaries or your AMH levels.
At FertiGenic, we are currently conducting studies of new therapies in the hopes that we will find something useful.
If you want to enroll in a study of a new treatment, go ahead. Make sure the doctor is conducting the study do not charge you to participate and that they review all of the potential risks. If they don't do this, then don’t participate.
AMH is one type of test that is performed in couples with infertility.
Check out our fertility supplements and treatments if you want to increase your chances of getting pregnant.