What is Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH)?
AMH is a hormone made by the small follicles in the ovary which have not yet begun to develop into mature eggs or ovum. These early developing follicles are called antral and pre-antral follicles. As the number of these early follicles falls over time, the level of AMH made also decreases.
Why is AMH measured?
- Low AMH indicates a reduced ovarian reserve, i.e., a decreased level of fertility.
- AMH can provide you with valuable knowledge.
- AMH can be used prior to fertility treatments to help plan management.
Reduced AMH (ovarian reserve)
What is ovarian reserve?
Ovarian reserve is a term used to describe the number of good quality eggs a woman has in her ovaries. Women are born with about 1 million eggs. Normally there is a slow decline in the number of viable eggs in the ovaries over time, however, a small number of women have a faster rate of egg loss. These women can have very reduced numbers of viable eggs and poor ovarian reserve even in their thirties. This results in the woman being less fertile.
Who is likely to have reduced ovarian reserve?
The majority of women who have reduced ovarian reserve have NO predisposing risk factors. Often their FSH (w) level can also appear to be normal. This is why measuring AMH can be very helpful in identifying these women.
Some conditions are known to reduce ovarian reserve:
- Family history of early menopause
- Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy
- Polycystic ovaries.
Why is AMH helpful for women planning a family?
Women who are considering the timing of possible pregnancy may benefit from having their AMH level tested. The finding of a lower than expected level may prompt trying for a baby sooner rather than later. One of the results of less ovarian reserve is reduced fertility. Fewer viable eggs reduce the chance of successful ovulation and pregnancy.
To improve a woman’s chance of a successful pregnancy, it is important to identify reduced ovarian reserve early so that further help can be offered if needed.
What happens if reduced ovarian reserve is diagnosed?
If reduced ovarian reserve is diagnosed, we recommend that you speak about the results with your medical practitioner.
No treatments are currently available that help new eggs to grow, however, IVF stimulation treatments may be available to help with remaining eggs.
Will I receive a bill from this test?
This test is complex to perform and the result is reported on by a specialist pathologist.
It is not yet covered by Medicare and there is an out-of-pocket cost for this test.
As this article contains only general information, professional advice from your medical practitioner should be sought before applying this information to particular circumstances.