Women are born with a definite number of eggs (ova), roughly a million. This number remains unchanged throughout her entire lifespan. From this, only one egg is fertilized every month. Therefore, age plays a crucial role in determining the fertility levels in a woman.
Anti-Mullerian hormones (AMH) are secreted from the follicles. The level of AMH in blood is an indicator of the number of eggs remaining in the ovary of a woman. With increasing age, the quality and quantity of AMH reduce. For older women, the most reliable option for conceiving is the IVF procedure. AMH (anti-mullerian) tests are often done prior to IVF processes to determine the fertility levels. For best results, AMH test should be clubbed with Antral Follicle Count (AFC) where the number of follicles in the ovary is determined.
How Does AMH Test determine your Fertility Rate?
One can identify fertility levels through the following statistics-
• Greater than 1.0ng/ml - Normal AMH Level
• Less than 1.0ng/ml – Indicating the necessity of treatment for a successful pregnancy
• Greater than 3.0ng/ml – Indicating serious PCOS condition (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)
• Undetected AMH Level – Very poor fertility rate
What is the procedure of the Test?
AMH test is a simple test, for which blood is drawn from the vein. However, one needs a specially equipped lab and corresponding machines to determine test results. Birth control pills can affect the accuracy of AMH tests. Hence, if the patient is on birth control pills the doctor may advise her to quit consuming the pills at least two months prior to the test. If you are taking any other category of fertility drugs, it is advisable to inform your doctor regarding the same.
Can the level of AMH be increased in blood?
There is a natural decline in AMH levels with increasing age. However, you can attempt to heighten AMH secretion by making certain lifestyle changes.
• Eat a balanced diet consisting of adequate amounts of antioxidants, lean protein and vitamin to maintain a healthy ovary
• Take Vitamin D supplements daily under the supervision of your doctor
• Consume DHEA supplements, which maintain a steady level of AMH in the blood
• Reduce the intake of sugar and processed food
• If you are planning for a pregnancy, limit consumption of alcohol and quit smoking as they aid in reducing the secretion of AMH hormone
AMH test is an accurate way to check for infertility levels in the blood. It is of immense use to the doctors, which help them in determining methods of treatment to help the patient conceive successfully.