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A low Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) test is hard news on hopeful parents. It’s a fact you need good AMH levels to turn your eggs into babies. Medical tests and treatments show that falling pregnant with low AMH, naturally, or with IVF has meager success rates. Not all is lost with a low AMH result however, there are other important factors to consider. Rushing into IVF is standard recommendation from doctors, but sholud not be the only advice you consider. The following information will put your AMH test results into context. Before starting any treatment understand what the AMH test means for you and your fertility.
some background first
About 20 years ago, the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) test took over from the Follicular Stimulating Hormone (FSH) test as the best predictor for a successful IVF pregnancy. Doctors are always hoping for reliable facts to guide the decisions of the patients and their treatment. An AMH test can be done at any time of a woman’s monthly cycle. AMH levels are said to be a stable indicator with a better predictive ability for IVF success rates.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone test results can have many meanings – depending on who you are talking to. Your AMH test results are useful to your ObGyn or Reproductive Endocrinologist for the following reasons.
- Your AMH results give an idea to your doctors how successful your IVF drugs will be.
- The lower your AMH results are, the less effective IVF drugs will be.
- Normal and above AMH results greatly improve IVF drugs working.
- The better IVF drugs work there higher your chances of IVF starting a pregnancy.
- Depending on how low your AMH results are, you may be recommended using a donor egg for IVF.
What is normal AMH, what is not, and what does that mean for treatment?
- Normal AMH levels are 1.96 ng/ml or 14 pmol/l.
- Low AMH levels are anything under these numbers.
- Very low AMH levels are below 0.5 ng/ml or 1 pmol/l.
- Normal AMH levels mean IVF drugs will harvest 8 – 15 mature eggs at egg pick-up.
- Lower than normal AMH levels means the fewer eggs IVF drugs can mature for pick-up.
- The fewer eggs harvested at pick-up means the less likely IVF is to start a pregnancy.
the crystal ball for predicting your IVF pregnancy
AMH levels will tell your IVF doctors how well IVF drugs are likely to work during a cycle. IVF drugs are designed to mature more eggs than your ovaries normally would. Remember, you usually ovulate only 1 egg a month. IVF wants 8 – 15 mature eggs ready by pick-up time: this provides better chances for an eventual pregnancy.
Low AMH – the cloud in the IVF crystal ball.
If you have low AMH levels going into IVF, the ovarian stimulating drugs they use to grow more eggs do not work so well. Fewer eggs mean fewer chances for your pregnancy success. Low AMH implies a lot more than just low IVF success rates. There are other hormones that will determine the final result.
To learn more about how Low AMH and IVF works, click here
AMH with FSH – the real crystal ball.
You only need one egg to fall pregnant, it is true. If IVF only harvests one egg at pick-up, you still have a chance; statistically, that is. But neither statistics or reality is on your side here. AMH levels are a good indicator of how many eggs IVF drugs may grow. FSH levels – the hormone that takes over from AMH to finish your egg growth is the real decider. Regardless of good or bad AMH levels are, if your day 3 FSH levels are over 16 IU/L, IVF won’t work.
If your AMH levels are low, but your FSH levels under 10 IU/L on day 3, egg pick-up can harvest more than 5 eggs. Even though AMH is low, you respond to the IVF drugs better than expected. You will not be a Poor Ovarian Responder.
The greater the difference between AMH and FSH, the worse your chances become for a pregnancy. Day 3 FSH levels over 16 IU/L ruin any chance for IVF to work. Other treatments have proven effective, but FSH limits these treatments too. Check your own AMH and FSH results against alternative treatment methods. You can fall pregnant, but you need to follow the right steps for success.
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