AMH testing – what’s it for?
The AMH test or ‘eggtimertest’ is a test that your GP or fertility specialist may request when doing routine investigations for infertility. AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone – a hormone secreted by the cells surrounding the really tiny follicles in your ovaries that hold the tiny eggs that may one day grow up to be big follicles holding bigger eggs that may be ovulated and fertilised and become a baby.
Measuring the amount of AMH in your bloodstream can give an indication of how many of these tiny follicles there are in your ovaries, which can be an indication of how long you’ve ‘got left’ before you hit menopause….
please note the words *can* and *indication*… these are REALLY important words in this sentence….
Measurement of AMH is absolutely NOT a measure of fertility – all it is is an indication of how many tiny follicles there might be left in your ovaries……
You might have only a few of these tiny follicles left, or you might have hundreds – but it makes ABSOLUTELY no difference to your chances of conceiving in any given month. You could have only a few and get pregnant next month, or you could have HEAPS, but have two blocked tubes, or some other issue that could mean that you need IVF to conceive.
AMH testing: what is it useful for? Why test it?
It’s really useful for Australian fertility doctors when they are trying to work out what dose of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) to give you when going through fertility treatment (Ovulation induction, IUI or IVF).
High AMH indicating lots of little follicles? A lower dose of drugs to stimulate enough follicles for treatment
Low AMH indicating not so many little follicles? Maybe they need a higher dose of drugs to stimulate enough of them for treatment.
Really high AMH measurements can indicate PCOS, which can lead to ovulation issues, meaning even though you have HEAPS of follicles, you’re not releasing them, so they can’t ever meet the sperm and get fertilised.
Really low AMH measurements can indicate approaching menopause – but still doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant naturally next month… that is determined by all sorts of other things – most importantly AGE… but that’s a discussion for another post.
Low AMH can also give SOME indication of how quickly you need to get started – especially if you want more than one baby in the long run… but it is absolutely NOT a marker of fertility or ability to conceive – the only marker for that is a baby in your arms.
AMH is a useful test for fertility doctors, in conjunction with many other tests that they do… to help work out the best course of treatment for you.
Written by Lucy Lines at Two Lines Fertility