The TTC journey can be filled with a lot of unexpected twists and turns. One thing you may not have bargained for? The host of new acronyms to learn. Overwhelming, we know. But, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Let’s talk about AMH levels—and why they might matter for your reproductive health.
When you are born, you have all the eggs you will ever have. As you get older, the amount of eggs you have (AKA your ovarian reserve) starts to decline.
Each of your eggs lives inside an ovarian follicle waiting to be released into your fallopian tube when you ovulate.
Inside these follicles, hormones work to help each egg mature and ultimately leave the nest. One of these hormones is AMH.
If you’re TTC, and especially if you’re doing IVF, you will probably undergo some blood tests to evaluate your likelihood of getting pregnant.
These blood tests check for certain hormones, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and AMH.
The AMH level is used specifically to estimate how many eggs you have left in your ovarian reserve.
In this article: 📝
- Understanding your AMH levels
- AMH levels by age
- What AMH level indicates infertility?
Understanding your AMH levels
AMH stands for anti-mullerian hormone. While you may have heard of it only in relation to your egg production, it forms a crucial part of the reproductive systems of all sexes.
Let’s break it down. The “M” in AMH refers to the Mullerian ducts. Every embryo has these ducts, but they will develop into different organs depending on the sex of the fetus. In female fetuses, they will become the female reproductive tract.
That’s where “anti-mullerian hormone” comes in. If a fetus has XY (male) genes, it will produce a high level of AMH to prevent the development of female sex organs. If a fetus has XX (female) genes, only a small amount of AMH is produced, allowing the female sex organs to develop.
But hold on. What does this have to do with TTC? Interestingly, this hormone steps up to the plate in a different way after women hit puberty—and that’s to help house and protect the eggs in your ovaries.
How to test AMH levels
The AMH test is a blood test that is used to indicate the size of your ovarian reserve. This information can help you make important decisions about your fertility journey and have a bearing on whether you want to try IVF.
If you’re wondering when to test AMH levels, there’s some good news. Because these levels are relatively stable through your cycle, you can do this test at any point in the month.
And the benefits of this test are not only for those who are TTC. It also appears to be helpful in predicting the age you will reach menopause and in screening for medical conditions.
This recent study showed promising results using AMH tests to identify polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The AMH levels PCOS correlation? Higher levels of AMH seem to be associated with some features of the syndrome.
Another important use? Testing for AMH levels may also help to get to the bottom of cases of amenorrhea, a condition where a girl’s period has not started by age of fifteen.
AMH levels by age
Age is generally the key variable affecting your AMH levels. There have been suggestions that some other factors–caffeine use, smoking, marijuana use, etc.–can impact AMH, but these have not been proven.
At the age of approximately 25, your AMH levels are at their peak.
This study of women between the ages of 17 and 54 revealed that high AMH levels started at about 2.91 ng/ml in younger participants and decreased to about 0.45 ng/ml in participants over 50.
So what do these numbers mean if you’re TTC?
What is a good AMH level to get pregnant?
If your AMH levels are between 1.0 and 4.0 ng/ml, you’re generally within a range where it will be possible for you to get pregnant.
But it’s important to note that pregnancies also happen when very low levels of AMH are present.
This may be because, as this study suggests, AMH is not a great predictor of the quality of the egg inside the follicle. It’s possible that even if you have low ovarian reserve, your egg quality is still high enough to give you a good chance at pregnancy.
The other side of the story is also true—a “good” AMH level is no guarantee that you will get pregnant.
What AMH level indicates infertility?
So that you can get a gauge of the spectrum, less than 0.6ng/ml is considered low, and less than 0.3 is considered very low. (Very high levels, as in those that might indicate PCOS, are above 3.)
Can I increase my AMH levels?
If you want to know how to increase AMH levels, there is unfortunately no way to do so. There are no miracle drugs or diets that will move the needle.
But AMH levels are not the only factor at play when it comes to infertility. Amongst other factors, illness, addiction, stress, and some medical treatments can all play a part.
You are also only one of your team’s players in this doubles match. Somewhere between 40 and 50% of cases of infertility come from male partners.
And then, often, we just don’t know why it’s hard to conceive. In as many as 10% of TTC struggles, it’s not possible to identify a root cause.
What we do know is that TTC can be incredibly stressful, often affecting both your personal wellbeing and your relationships.
The bottom line is, you don’t have to do this alone. Talk to your doctor about the options available to you. And reach out to your Peanut community.
About 12% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 have trouble getting pregnant. It’s really time that we had the conversation.
And if you’d like to continue to explore the language of TTC, head over to our guide.
We wish you all the best.
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