Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH): A Marker for Ovarian Function
Testing ovarian function is a key step in assessing female fertility and preparing for in vitro fertilization (IVF). At Los Angeles Reproductive Center, we help patients assess ovarian function with accurate anti-Müllerian hormone testing in Encino, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles, CA.
Here, Dr. Marc Kalan and Dr. Nurit Winkler explore what the anti-Müllerian hormone is, how it can affect fertility, and why doctors use it as a marker for ovarian function. This information can help you understand your body so that you can explore proven methods and treatments to expand your family.
What Is Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH)?
Individuals assigned female at birth are born with approximately two million immature eggs in their ovaries. In prepubescent years, these individuals lose nearly 10,000 immature eggs each month.
During and after puberty, roughly 1,000 immature eggs are lost or destroyed each month, leaving just 300,000 to 400,000 eggs for patients’ prime, child-bearing years. While this may seem like more than enough eggs, several factors can influence the number and health of available eggs.
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is a hormone released by egg-containing follicles in the ovaries. As such, AMH values can help fertility specialists assess a patient’s ovarian function (also called ovarian reserve) by revealing the relative health and number of eggs remaining in their ovaries.
AMH Values, Age, and Fertility
AMH values directly correlate with egg count, but not necessarily with the ability to get pregnant. However, the more AMH in a patient’s blood sample, the more likely it is that they have enough, healthy eggs to get pregnant naturally or with IVF.
Typically, median AMH levels range between 1.0 ng/mL and 3.0 ng/mL. AMH values under 1.0 ng/mL usually indicate a low egg count while values over 3.0 ng/mL signify optimal ovarian function.
However, AMH values naturally decrease as patients get older due to the number of eggs that are destroyed during each menstrual cycle and released during ovulation. This means that patients may notice a steady decline in their AMH values as they get older. For reference, patients can expect the following values at each milestone:
- 20 to 29 years: 3.0 ng/mL - 1.0 ng/mL
- 30 to 39 years: 2.5 ng/mL - 0.5 ng/mL
- 40+ years: ≤ 0.5 ng/mL
AMH Testing and Results
AMH testing is a simple and effective way to assess ovarian reserve. Patients must provide a blood sample for the test, but they do not need to fast or prepare for the sample beforehand. Additionally, patients can receive the test at any point during their menstrual cycles, as AMH values do not fluctuate much from month to month.
The result of an AMH test indicates egg count, but not necessarily fertility. This means that a patient may have a high AMH value, but still experience difficulty getting pregnant.
However, the test may indicate that a patient's ovarian reserve is declining faster than anticipated. This means that patients may want to:
- Explore natural family planning earlier
- Pursue egg retrieval to preserve their genetic material
- Consider hormone injections and IVF treatments to grow their families
AMH Testing for Ovarian Function
Dr. Winkler and Dr. Kalan can help you assess your ovarian reserve and strategize your family planning with accurate AMH testing. If you’re ready to start growing your family, then schedule a consultation at Los Angeles Reproductive Center by calling (661) 889-5173 today.