If you have been looking into the option of having IVF you will probably have heard of Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) and might be wondering what it is and how important it is.
What is AMH?
AMH is actually produced in both male and female reproductive organs but it is usually only measured in women. This is because the follicles developing in a woman’s ovaries produce AMH. The basic concept is that the more eggs you have, the higher your AMH levels are and vice versa. This is why AMH levels are measured prior to IVF as the results help to evaluate ovarian reserve and assist clinics in planning for your procedures and medication. It is important to remember that AMH levels are a key indicator in the quantity of eggs remaining but do not provide a reliable indicator of the quality of the eggs which are being produced.
What are the Ideal AMH levels for IVF ?
Unfortunately, there isn’t an accepted ‘ideal’ AMH level for women trying to get pregnant and looking to go through IVF. Each clinic has its own idea of what that is and how they will go about treating you based on this.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) state that AMH levels “less than or equal to 5.4 pmol/l for a low response and greater than or equal to 25.0 pmol/l for a high response ” to gonadotrophin stimulation in IVF [https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg156/chapter/Recommendations – section 1.3.3]. Anything in between would be considered a normal responder when taking IVF medication.
Why do I have low AMH?
AMH levels tend to decline as you get older – this is simply due to the fact you are born with all your eggs and these deplete as time passes by. This does not necessarily mean that if you are young that your AMH levels will be perfect; lifestyle (smoking/diet) and natural (genetics/illness) factors can lead to lower levels and complications.
What does this mean for my chances in IVF?
If you are opting to go through IVF having struggled to conceive then here are a few points for you to consider. Firstly, if you are younger, usually considered below the age of 35 in the fertility world, then low but measurable AMH levels should not worry you too much. You will be prescribed medication which will stimulate your body to produce follicles which are likely to be of good quality given your age. Remember, low AMH does not mean low quality eggs, rather it means lower quantity, which isn’t as important when going through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART).
Unfortunately, cancer treatments and early-onset menopause can result in virtually non-existent AMH levels which will make it impossible for you to get pregnant.
If you are older than 35 and have low serum AMH then your chances of success in IVF are sadly greatly reduced, as has been shown in this study Again, this does not mean it will be impossible for you to get pregnant and have a healthy baby but it does significantly reduce your chances.
Can you increase AMH levels?
This study in older women with poor ovarian reserve shows that the micronutrients within Impryl increased AMH levels by 40% and a number of patients became pregnant while taking Impryl during the trial. Previously, it was thought that the only way for these women to get pregnant was through donated eggs.
Impryl provides a balanced support to the body’s metabolism which can help improve the quality of the follicles you produce and is recommended by IVF specialists across the UK to be taken prior to going through IVF. If you’d like to know more about Impryl you can visit the Impryl page on our site.