If you’ve been trying to conceive for a long period of time, you know that fertility issues are among the most stressful and emotional challenges a person or couple can face. What many people do not realize is that they are not alone; the pain, frustration, and disappointment of infertility can be overwhelming for everyone. The issue becomes even more significant if you have had to endure multiple rounds of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments without success.
What many individuals and couples are not aware of is that they can increase their chances of getting pregnant by knowing the woman’s Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) level. Knowing your AMH level can help you to determine the right time to start fertility treatments for getting pregnant.
What is AMH and how is it used in fertility?
An AMH level is used to check a woman's ability to produce eggs that are viable to be fertilized for pregnancy. While a woman's ovaries hold thousands of eggs during her childbearing years, the number declines as a woman gets older, shrinking more rapidly as she ages. So, determining AMH levels, in addition to other tests that give you additional information about your ovarian reserve, is an important and useful tool that helps show how many potential egg cells a woman has available for potential fertilization. Additionally, AMH levels are relatively constant, suggesting that an AMH test can be used on any day of a woman’s cycle. As a result, the test is one of the most reliable methods available to determine your fertility.
Who needs an AMH test?
If you are considering starting a family or may want to become pregnant in the near future, getting an AMH fertility test is recommended so you know your level ahead of your journey. AMH tests are helpful for all types of fertility journeys, including those who struggle to conceive over an extended period of time, those who want to conceive in the future and want to learn more about their fertility health, and those who are single or LGBTQ+ and can’t “try” on their own, to name a few. If you are already seeing a fertility specialist, your doctor may use the test to determine whether you might respond to treatment, such as IVF.
Women who are currently considering fertility treatment should be aware of these factors from the American Society for Reproductive Medicine when considering taking an AMH test:
● A woman’s AMH level generally peaks at age 25.
● While women under 30 have about a 25% chance of getting pregnant naturally each cycle, that chance drops to 20% for women over 30.
● Around age 35, a woman’s ovarian reserve decline becomes more rapid.
● By age 40, the chance of getting pregnant naturally each month is just 5%.
● After age 40, the likelihood of getting pregnant drops even further below 5%.
● AMH levels decline over time. Women are born with 1-2 million eggs, but they can lose thousands every month due to natural cell death. Beginning around age 35, a woman’s ovarian reserve starts to decline more rapidly.
Understanding what AMH levels really mean
AMH blood levels are used to calculate the size of a woman’s remaining egg supply - or “ovarian reserve” - and the chances for conception as women age. That said, it can be difficult to understand what this means for your fertility journey and chances for conception. The following AMH level chart shows the average level for various age ranges that are typical throughout a woman’s reproductive years:
4-9 ng/ mL
2-8 ng/ mL
2-6 ng/ mL
1-5 ng/ mL
How to read an AMH test
To best understand what AMH hormone levels mean for you it is important to know how to read an AMH blood test and what each respective level indicates. AMH levels are measured by low, normal, and high levels:
Low AMH Levels
Low AMH is defined as below 0.9 ng/ml. Anything below 0.16 ng/ml is said to be 'undetectably low', otherwise meaning diminished chances of fertility.
Normal AMH levels
A normal AMH level for a fertile woman is between 1.0–4.0 ng/ml. Under 1.0 ng/ml is considered low and indicative of a diminished ovarian reserve (DOR).
High AMH Levels
High levels of AMH are above 5.0 ng/ml. Borderline high is between 3.5 ng/ml to 5.0 ng/ml. A high level means a woman has a higher number of eggs than expected for her age and will respond better to IVF treatment.
How to get started with Anti-Mullerian Hormone Testing
AMH levels fluctuate and vary by individual. Navigating your fertility journey can be stressful and difficult under the best of circumstances. With a deeper understanding of your AMH hormone levels, you will have an additional layer of knowledge and preparation throughout your process, with the hopes that it is successful.
Working with a qualified, certified AMH testing partner provides you with additional confidence in your health data, and can also address any concerns or questions you have along your journey.
Start tracking your AMH results and begin understanding your individual fertility.