What Your AMH Level Really Means: Understanding and Optimising Your Fertility

What Your AMH Level Really Means: Understanding and Optimising Your Fertility

What is AMH?

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a protein hormone produced by cells within the ovaries. It serves as a marker of ovarian reserve, which refers to the number of viable eggs remaining in the ovaries. AMH is produced in both male and female reproductive organs, but it is typically measured only in women. Essentially, a higher number of eggs corresponds to higher AMH levels, and vice versa. This is why AMH levels are measured before IVF; it can help predict how many eggs you are likely to obtain in an IVF cycle and the results help evaluate ovarian reserve and assist clinics in planning procedures and medication. It’s important to note that while AMH levels indicate the quantity of eggs remaining, they do not reliably reflect the quality of those eggs.


What is the AMH Test?

The AMH test is a simple blood test that measures the level of Anti-Müllerian Hormone in the blood. This test helps fertility specialists estimate a woman's remaining egg supply and predict how she might respond to fertility treatments. It’s often used in conjunction with other assessments to provide a comprehensive picture of reproductive health. The results may be compared with women of a similar age and helps predict how your AMH level may change over the years.


Can I Still Get Pregnant with a Low AMH?

A low AMH level typically indicates a lower number of remaining eggs, which can be concerning for women trying to conceive. However, it’s important to remember that AMH is just one piece of the fertility puzzle. Many women with low AMH levels can still get pregnant naturally or with the help of fertility treatments. Factors such as age, overall health, and the presence of other fertility issues also play crucial roles. It's worth noting that AMH can be a useful marker of ovarian reserve in reproductive-aged women, but there is a need for increased screening of women who conceive naturally to gain more thorough knowledge of situations that may affect AMH levels. In no situation does AMH reflect oocyte health or chances for conception. Age is still the strongest driver in determining success rates with fertility treatments.


Why do I have low AMH?

AMH levels naturally decline with age because women are born with a finite number of eggs, which decrease over time. However, being young doesn't guarantee high AMH levels; lifestyle factors like smoking and diet, vitamin D levels as well as natural factors such as genetics and illness, can also result in lower levels and potential complications.


Is High AMH a good thing?

High AMH levels usually suggest a larger ovarian reserve, which can be advantageous for fertility and fertility treatments. However, extremely high levels may be associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a condition characterised by irregular menstrual cycles and ovulation issues. Women with PCOS often have a higher number of small follicles in their ovaries, leading to elevated AMH levels.

Can You Increase your AMH Levels?

It is well documented that increasing age correlates with a decrease in AMH levels, this reflects low ovarian reserve as perimenopause and then menopause approaches. However, it is also normal for AMH levels to fluctuate from one cycle to another, which means that although certain factors cause a natural decline in levels, they can also improve naturally too, and this does not always follow what appears to be a traceable pattern. While AMH levels are largely determined by age and genetics in some cases, certain lifestyle practices can support overall ovarian health and potentially support your fertility:

1. Healthy Diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can support ovarian function. Foods like leafy greens, berries, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins are beneficial.

2. Regular Exercise: Moderate exercise can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress, both of which are important for reproductive health. Avoid excessive high-intensity workouts, as they may negatively impact hormone levels.

3. Stress Management: Chronic stress can affect hormone levels and overall health. Practices like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness can help manage stress.

4. Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol: Smoking has been shown to reduce ovarian reserve and accelerate egg loss. Limiting alcohol intake can also support overall reproductive health.

5. Adequate Sleep: Ensuring you get enough quality sleep is crucial for hormonal balance and overall well-being.

6. Consult a Healthcare Professional: This will ensure you receive personalised advice based on your specific needs.

Your AMH level is a valuable indicator of your ovarian reserve, but it’s not the sole determinant of your fertility potential. Whether you have low or high AMH, understanding what it means and taking proactive steps to support your reproductive health can improve your chances of conceiving now or in the future. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, managing stress, and having the correct information can empower you to make informed decisions about your fertility journey.



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