The amount of Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) present can assist with determining a woman’s fertility status. However, AMH isn’t just for women. In developing males, a high amount of AMH is produced by the testes to allow for male reproductive organs to be developed. After birth the level remains high all the way until puberty and then begins to taper off. In females, a low amount of AMH is produced by the ovaries which allows the development of female organs within the womb. During puberty, AMH production is increased and then declines until menopause.
AMH does more than assist with sexual organ development– AMH plays an incredibly important role in fertility. When ovulation occurs during her monthly cycle, a woman will have rising and falling levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). Anti-Müllerian Hormone helps balance these hormones and helps follicular growth. As the female body continues toward menopause, AMH levels decrease naturally, decreasing the likelihood of pregnancy.
We have found that testing AMH levels in women can help us determine where she is from a fertility standpoint. Does she have a good, healthy remaining egg potential in her ovaries? How close is she to menopause? How likely is she to conceive? If her levels are too low, pregnancy would become a challenge. Additionally, high levels of AMH in women have been associated with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) which presents its own pregnancy challenges.
Testing for the Anti-Müllerian Hormone is done through a simple blood test and could be useful for our patients who are headed toward menopause but are still considering pregnancy– or for PCOS patients who want to determine their likelihood of conceiving. Knowing your current fertility status can help you have a more realistic approach when considering pregnancy.