What to Make of AMH Testing…
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) testing is gaining a reputation as the magical test that can figure out your ovarian reserve and therefore determine your likelihood of being able to conceive. Depending on whether a score is low or high can have women kicking off their shoes and pouring themselves a celebratory cocktail or send them into a frenzied panic.
Here’s what you should understand about AMH; it is just an indicator. It’s one step in the right direction towards figuring out what’s going on inside your uterus. When it comes to fertility testing, it’s part of your complete breakfast, not the whole meal. There are many factors that play into your fertility and AMH testing is a great place to start—so we definitely aren’t hating on it. Actually, we use AMH testing frequently because it provides a handy bit of information. But we have our reasons as to why we don’t think you should put all your ova eggs in one basket.
What exactly is an Anti-Mullerian Hormone?
Well, there’s a lot of big words that could be used here, but to simplify (at the risk of oversimplifying) it’s a protein hormone that is produced by cells in developing follicles in your ovaries. Those follicles are where your eggs live until they are ready to be fertilized. So when you hear about AMH measuring your ovarian reserve, it’s because the blood test can measure how many follicles are left in your ovaries that could potentially produce healthy, fertilized eggs.
What else can this test do?
Aside from checking on your ovarian reserve, AMH tests can also help get an idea as to how your body would respond to hormonal treatments used for egg freezing or IVF. Having a higher AMH score indicates that you will probably have a good response to treatment and you’ll see good ovary stimulation. Or, in other words, we’ll probably be able to harvest more eggs in one go.
AMH testing is a positive thing
So yeah, AMH testing is great, it truly is. How amazing that science has figured out a way to measure all that through a blood test—science is cool! We support AMH, we use it, and we think it’s smart to get it done if you want to get a feel for your fertility.
So why can’t I depend on this test alone?
It’s not all we look at because your ovarian reserve is not all that matters when it comes to fertility. What this test doesn’t show is the quality of your eggs (click here to read about the difference between egg quality and quantity). It is possible to have a low AMH score but still have some quality, embryo and baby creating eggs in that reserve. It’s also possible to have the opposite.
Just like any odds, your chances of collecting quality eggs is higher the more you harvest. Also, don’t forget that like anything else related to fertility, age is a factor; your AMH score will decrease as you get older. We have a system in place that takes these kinds of things into account and it’s something you’ll go over with your doctor when the time is right.
It’s important to remember that AMH gives indications and predictions on your ovarian reserve but it can’t predict you. You are unique and miraculous and quite frankly, fertility is tough to navigate and understand (that’s why RE’s spend eight to ten years studying it before going into their practice!) Just remember that you don’t have to figure it out alone, and we encourage you not to. Ask lots of questions, do lots of research, and empower yourself with knowledge.