Is AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) a Reliable Marker for Ovarian Reserve?

by - 11.03.2014 | Infertility Testing

Are you concerned about your ovarian reserve? Well, AMH may just be the right test for you. You may want to get the level checked to find out whether your egg reserve is declining or not. If the egg reserve is declining, egg freezing may be a good option because the sooner you act on it, the better.

AMH released by the ovaries has been used as a reliable test to determine the status of egg reserve in reproductive aged women. As a general rule, higher the level, healthier the ovaries. The levels can range from 0-16 ng/mL, but in most cases it’s between 1-3 ng/mL. Certain exceptions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or women with high number of developing eggs due to hormonal imbalances can have a falsely elevated AMH level. In general, levels are reliable in women with regular menstrual cycles.

AMH is produced by the developing eggs and therefore can be affected by many variables. If someone is taking hormonal contraception for example, the levels may be lower than expected. That does not necessarily mean the actual level is low and the egg reserve is therefore diminished, but rather the low hormone level requires further evaluation. All types of hormone contraception typically have a similar impact, whether it’s birth control pills, the patch or the vaginal ring. If someone is on such hormonal contraception and desires to test her egg reserve, simply a blood test can reveal whether the AMH level is low. If it’s normal, periodic assessment can be done. If the level is low, then hormonal contraception needs to be stopped and the level checked again. This way, the true value can be established.

A normal AMH level may not guarantee that the person is fertile or she has high egg reserve. There are patients with normal AMH levels who have responded poorly to fertility medications. Interestingly, the other way around is also true. Patients with very low levels of AMH can actually get pregnant with IVF treatment.

Overall, AMH is a good marker for egg reserve and considered to be highly reliable. Women considering pregnancy in the future who are concerned about their egg reserve should get their AMH level checked.

At LA IVF, we measure AMH levels prior to egg freezing and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. We combine the AMH level with additional screening tools to make the best prediction for treatment outcome.