Diagnosed with Low AMH? New Research on Egg Timer Test
Low ovarian reserve? There’s more to egg health than AMH.
A new Australian paper looks at the way low AMH results can often mislead women into understanding their actual egg health.
This is important to know if you’ve ever done fertility testing, or had a diagnosis of “low ovarian reserve.”
There are several tests doctors use to look at your fertility, but one of them is the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH), and is often used to predict “how many eggs you have left” or “how many fertile years you still have.”
This latest research, however, shows that clinics are using the data in a misleading way, and this test cannot accurately predict fertility. The paper concluded that “The AMH test is therefore not a reliable measure of fertility potential.”
AMH is a hormone released by follicles in the very early stages of development in your ovaries. It takes most egg follicles about 3 months to develop before they’re ready for ovulation. So at any given time you have a number of follicles in various stages of development. They secrete the hormone AMH, so measuring AMH, it’s thought, tells you how many eggs you have. If it’s low, you’re in trouble.
The problem is, there are a lot of factors that go into egg health. One problem with AMH is that it only measures quantity and not quality of your eggs. The other problem is that, like many tests, it’s a snapshot in time. So it tells you about how many eggs are currently maturing in your ovaries, but not about your future potential.
As recent research has shown, there are many ways to improve your egg health with lifestyle changes–particularly the removal of endocrine disrupters and other toxin exposures. Since follicles take about 3 months to mature, you can often have a pretty good impact on improving your egg quality in about 3 months or more.
(Here are 2 blog posts with more info on supporting egg health by removing endocrine disruptors:
- 5 Ways to Make Your Home More Fertility-Friendly
- Are Your Personal Care Items Affecting Your Fertility? )
Obviously there are many tests we use to look at fertility, and getting a full picture requires more than one test.
But knowing that your AMH isn’t the end-all-be-all for your future fertility chances can be empowering.
There’s a lot you can do to support your egg health with lifestyle changes, and AMH cannot accurately predict your future fertility or the quality of your eggs.
So if you’ve been told you have “low ovarian reserve” based solely on your AMH results, take heart! That likely isn’t the full story.
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