What does AMH mean for my fertility?


What is AMH?

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone released by cells in your developing egg sacs (your follicles). AMH levels can be tested as part of understanding your ovarian reserve (your reproductive potential).  The follicles that contain the eggs are responsible for producing AMH, so the more follicles you have, the more AMH is produced. This is why AMH can be an indicator of the number of follicles, and therefore eggs. As you get older the number of potential eggs you have begins to decrease, as part of the natural process of ageing, and as this happens there will be fewer smaller follicles, which means less AMH will be released.


Why test AMH?

AMH testing is commonly used before starting IVF treatment as it gives a good indication of how well the ovaries will respond to stimulation treatments. Low levels of AMH suggest the ovaries may respond poorly to stimulation. However, higher levels of AMH can produce poor quality eggs. High levels can also highlight a risk of hyper-stimulation, meaning your ovaries develop too many eggs, which may have further complications. 


Why do I have low AMH?

This could be due to your age, or if you’re told your levels are low for your ages this could be part of your genetics, and doesn’t always means you will struggle to get pregnant. Low AMH can also be down to:

  • Endometriosis
  • PCOS
  • Lifestyle factors
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Contraception (recently coming off it)
  • Auto immune disease


Can I get pregnant with Low AMH?

Yes! Studies show low AMH isn’t always an issue for conceiving naturally. Anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) testing is often used as a measure of fertility and whilst it can provide a certain amount of information it does not provide the full picture of a woman’s fertility and it cannot predict the quality of eggs.  Fertility is about more than just the number of eggs you have remaining. An AMH test cannot tell you anything about the quality of those eggs, and so an AMH test should never be taken without expert personalised fertility advice to help you to understand exactly what it means for you.


What are normal AMH Levels ?

AMH test results will be presented in terms of pico moles per litre (pmol/L) and when you google there are often tables of results categorised by age. Often this range is large and can cause so much unnecessary stress and anxiety.  AMH levels are individual to each person, and need to be looked at in relation to many other factors so going down this route is not advised, much better to speak to someone who can look at your results in a wider context and explain them further alongside other factors (see below).


Can you have IVF with Low AMH?

Low AMH doesn’t reveal anything about the quality of the eggs that are produced, so it is important to consider and investigate further your unique situation to determine whether IVF is the right approach.

Other areas to consider when look at chances of conception.

  • Other reproductive hormone markers (FSH, LH, Ostrogen, Testosterone
  • Thyroid Health
  • Antral Follicle Count
  • Gynaecological diseases like endometriosis, PCOS and other ovulation disorders
  • Sperm health
  • Assessment of the uterine environment and structural issues, fibroids, polyps, tubal problems
  • Vaginal microbiome


Can acupuncture help with low AMH?

Clinical trails have shown that acupuncture has increased AMH levels in women with premature ovarian failure. When we work with people we look at all aspects of the physical and emotional areas that can have a positive influence on AMH levels. This includes addressing issues with sleep, stress, digestion, making sure there is a nutrient rich diet, with the right supplements. We find that this alongside the ongoing support and treatment can really help optimise fertility and have a positive impact on the chances of conception.

If you’d like to know more about AMH please have a listen our podcast episode on the topic.

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