Low AMH Testing
The Egg Timer Test
AMH testing, dubbed the ‘egg timer test‘ is a standard blood test performed on every fertility patient and one the clearest indicators of female infertility.
If it’s normal (what does this mean?) it may provide false security, it it’s low, that information can seriously set you back emotionally. And so many people will provide different opinions as to what your low result might mean, including telling you it means you won’t get pregnant.
FACT. Women with an AMH of <0.1 can have babies, normal babies. How? Frankly, there are in fact many ways, some will take more time and cost more than others.
Women who have a low AMH in relation to fertility tend to be in one of two areas. The first is where you have done an AMH test “just to see how fertile I am” expecting of course that you’re absolutely fine, and being told that you’re not. The second is when you and your partner have been having trouble conceiving, and the low AMH level was found as part of the routine testing. And then you were told that “your ovary was running out of eggs”, and the “eggs were probably poor quality”. “You had better hurry and do IVF before they run out” and “here’s a high dose of hormones to get more eggs”. Now you may be considering that these statements may not be viewed as necessarily correct at Demeter Fertility.
Research looking at hundreds of thousands of IVF cycles showed years ago, that getting more eggs in an IVF cycle DID NOT increase the chances of having a baby, on a per egg collection cycle basis. Furthermore, this data also showed that the HIGHER the dose of FHS used to stimulate the ovaries to collect eggs, the LOWER the baby rate. Scientifically this completely makes sense, but weirdly around the world, this approach continues to be mainstream. Perhaps it is easier to deal with ‘minions” including “well you collected a good number of eggs” but the reality is, this is a quality game, how good is the best egg? Is the best egg good enough to make a baby? Did giving high doses of FSH have a negative effect on the best egg that could have made a baby, only to diminish its capability?
IVF technology cannot turn an egg that can’t make a baby into one that can, it maximises the ability of the egg than can, to do so. As long as we don’t break it or poach it in the meantime! At Demeter Fertility, we understand these nuances, treating eggs with respect, and understanding how to help women increase the number of eggs that can make a baby over a standard amount of time. Get into the quality game, because time does still run out.
An anti-mullerine hormone test (aka, the AMH test) is a blood test prescribed by your treating fertility specialist. The test is non-invasive and fairly easy for a pathology clinic to perform, and can take 7-14 days on average to return a result.
The result is an indicator of a woman’s egg count, i.e. how many eggs a woman may have left. So the test is a very important piece of information that fertility specialists use to determine some of the underlying fertility factors as to why a couple may not be getting pregnant.
Ovarian reserve refers to the number of eggs that are left within a woman’s ovaries, that have the potential to be fertilised for pregnancy. It literally refers to the reserve of eggs in your ovaries and provides some indication of a woman’s chances of pregnancy.
Ovarian reserve is measured via an AMH test, which reports a number that is used to help provide an assessment on a woman’s fertility. This is a standard test that all women interested in their fertility should undergo as standard.
The number and quality of these eggs decline with age, so the levels of the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) are an indicator of your ovarian reserve.
In general, the test is simple and can be undertaken by any woman at any time of her cycle. An AMH test is on of the best sources of information for fertility specialists to use when assessing a patients fertility.
From the age of 35, your ovarian reserve or AMH declines at a faster rate until menopause. So testing your AMH is important before undergoing any fertility treatment to understand what the cause of infertility might be.
Other than age, there are several factors to consider if low AMH testing is the right course of action for you. This includes if you:
- Have been trying to fall pregnant for more than six months
- Are considering delaying pregnancy and want to check your ovarian reserve is at a healthy level for your age group
- want to confirm if certain medical conditions have affected future fertility (e.g. chemotherapy or surgery)
AMH is one of the easiest and most informative tests and pieces of information available to fertility doctors to make an educated diagnosis on any fertility issues. In any medical specialty it is important to have as much information on the patient as possible. In fertility an AMH result is a crucial test to undertake.
Women with lower ovarian reserves have decreased fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage, a low AMH result also suggests decreased egg count therefore suggests a lower chance of pregnancy.
AMH testing is very important to identify early on in the fertility journey so that women can make decisions on their future family plans and if assistance with their reproduction will be needed. AMH results can help to determine if or when a woman should consider egg freezing, starting their IVF journey or if they have time up their sleeve.
Fortunately pregnancy is still an option, even with a low AHM. As one of the key indicators of female infertility, IVF and fertility treatment is a viable option for women with low AMH. However low AMH also does not mean a woman cannot get pregnant naturally.
Even though it it still impacts your overall window for reproduction, consulting with our IVF specialists will provide you with the best course of action on moving forward, so we can help you maximise your chances of having a baby. Get in touch with the Demeter Fertility team here.
Besides being one of the most well-established fertility clinics in Sydney, Demeter Fertility provides connections to some of the most experienced IVF specialists, all led by our medical director, Dr David Knight. Your fertility doctor will be able to consider your individual circumstances and outline what options are available to you. AMH testing is provided through Demeter Fertility as part of your investigations so that you can truly understand your options moving forward.
Contact our dedicated team at Demeter Fertility