Low AMH & IVF: Your Essential Guide Pt 2.

The secret to success

Most women diagnosed with low AMH levels are told to “do IVF straight away before it is too late.” Before 2010 most IVF centres would turn women away who wanted to use their own eggs. Donor eggs were the only way to go forward. 

IVF centers were unwilling to treat women with low AMH levels before 2010, but happy to do so ever since.

Low AMH & IVF: Your Essential Guide Pt 2.
Thumbs up for those who won the IVF lotto. What about those not so lucky?

What has changed in IVF since then?

IVF protocols and procedures are standard throughout the world. Variations in drug quality, dosage and timing are the only real differences. The rise of IVF success rates in since 2012 are not due to advancements in research. There have been no significant advancements in IVF since egg freezing in 1997. The processes of IVF treatment have barely changed since 1984.

If IVF has not changed in 40 years, what accounts for the improved success rates?

Government subsidises?

One answer is that more people use IVF now than ever before. Governments subsidize treatments for couples making it more affordable. IVF centers are common now. In the past, you had to go to a capital city to find one. The increase in people using IVF would create a statistical improvement in the odds of it working.

Improved drugs?

However, this is not the full story. Drug quality has improved. Hormones synthesized from women’s urine created the original drugs for IVF. Nowadays recombinant DNA technology has improved the quality of drugs used. The actions of the drugs and the way they are used have not changed. The drugs have improved egg pick up rates in healthy women, but not done much for those less fortunate.

Low AMH & IVF: Your Essential Guide Pt 2.
Recombinant DNA methods improved IVF drugs for increased egg production. Has it increased pregnancy rates?

The real reason for the increase in IVF success rates in the last ten years is…

The increase in women under 35 using IVF.

The convenience of falling pregnant next month, without any more waiting is attractive. IVF techniques are available for anyone seeking treatment. You do not have to have a diagnosed fertility problem to use IVF treatment. If you are a healthy woman, under 35, without any diagnosed fertility issues, your chances of IVF working are 45% per cycle. More and more women in this category turn to IVF to create a pregnancy.

Unfortunately, IVF success rates for women with known fertility issues have barely risen in 20 years. Yet the focus of IVF treatments remain the same for all.

So what is the key to IVF success?

The hormone catch.

How good are your hormone levels? Have you had a test with poor results and wonder what it all means? How important are your hormones to fall pregnant? How does medicine go about fixing the problem? Moreover, what are your real chances of having a baby now the results are in?

Low AMH & IVF: Your Essential Guide Pt 2.
Hormone levels within range indicate that IVF drugs will be effective stimulating egg growth.

Hormone levels are the gold standard for judging how likely a woman is to fall pregnant. An adverse report on your hormone test is unhappy news. Understanding the significance of hormone results and how they determine treatments is essential.

Many hopeful parents discover that their hormone levels are outside of optimal ranges. This report provides evidence that things are not the way they should be. Outside of other issues, it is often interpreted as the primary cause for infertility. Returning hormone levels back to normal seems like the natural treatment approach. However, this is not even close to what happens.

As long as your reproductive hormone levels are within range, there is hope for pregnancy. IVF treatments for people outside of these levels can be long, expensive and fruitless.

Many good quality and fertilizable eggs are the key to IVF success.

Using drugs to stimulate and grow many eggs at once is the focus of IVF treatment. Harvesting 10 – 15 eggs in one IVF cycle is a great outcome. Hormone therapy is applied to every woman to produce these eggs. Existing levels of specific hormones in your body will determine how effective IVF drugs will be to grow these eggs.

The difference in IVF treatment from woman to woman is dosage and timing.

The largest problem facing women with low AMH levels seeking IVF is that existing hormone therapy cannot improve low AMH levels. In fact, stimulated IVF cycles have proven to lower AMH levels and egg pick-up rates in these women over subsequent cycles.

“The ideal stimulation for (low AMH) patients remains a great challenge for the clinician, within the limits of our pharmaceutical quiver,” concludes a large 2007 study.

Hormone therapy does not attempt to restore the natural hormonal balance.

Low AMH & IVF: Your Essential Guide Pt 2.
Restoring natural hormone balance is not a treatment focus.

Currently there is no modern medical treatment designed to help your body rebalance its own hormone levels. IVF drug therapy is used exclusively to take over your hormones for normal egg production to produce more eggs artificially.

AMH is the original stimulator of your ovaries to start the egg growing process.

Low AMH & IVF:Your Essential Guide Pt 2.
This chart shows the transition of hormones in a woman’s ovary from a primordial egg (meaning the earliest stage of development) to a full egg ready to be released by the ovary and fertilized.

AMH starts the growth of your eggs, FSH takes over and matures them. LH creates ovaultion. Your AMH and FSH levels determines how well your ovaries can grow eggs naturally.

All IVF drugs used to stimulate egg growth focus only on FSH and LH.

If your AMH levels are low and FSH levels high the response to IVF stimulating drugs is poor. The variety of IVF drugs on the market are unable to promote AMH to stimulate primary egg growth. This is why IVF treatment for women with low AMH levels fails to work.

IVF treatment does not address low AMH problems. To date, research is not even trying to find a way to do so. This is why doctors gloss over the problem saying, “there is no cure, nothing can really help.” Regards women are still advised to rush into IVF with a ‘before it is too late’ warning.

No gambler would put their money down on such a long shot, yet many people will.

In “Low AMH & IVF: Your Essential Guide Pt 3” you will discover how to beat the odds and smash the cost.

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