What is Anti-Mullerian hormone?
Cells in the body make the Anti Mullerian hormone (AMH) protein. The AMH protein surrounds each egg and during the small pre-antral stages, the production of AMH is maximum. As the follicles grow, AMH production starts decreasing, and once a follicle is 8mm in size, no AMH is produced.
- Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) is a protein made by the cells that surround each egg
- AMH is produced the most during the small Anti Mullerian Hormone
- AMH stops producing as follicles grow and nearly no AMH is produced once a follicle hits 8mm in size
- The more eggs a woman has, the higher her AMH level should be
- A simple blood test can determine a woman’s AMH levels
About eight weeks after conception the human fetus has two sets of ducts, one of which can develop into the male reproductive tract and the other into the female reproductive tract. If the fetus is genetically male (XY chromosomes) then the embryonic testes will produce anti-Müllerian hormone. This causes the Müllerian (female) ducts to disappear – hence the term anti-Müllerian hormone, whilst testosterone produced by the testes causes the male (Wollfian) ducts to survive.
The Wolffian ducts go on to develop into the different parts of the male reproductive system: the epididymis, the vas deferens, the seminal vesicles, and the prostate gland. In a female fetus (XX chromosomes) the Wolffian ducts disappear (because of the lack of testosterone) and the Müllerian ducts develop into the fallopian tubes, uterus (womb), cervix and the upper part of the vagina.
Anti-Müllerian hormone may also have a role in regulating sex steroid production in puberty and in the adult ovaries and testes. In the ovaries, the anti-Müllerian hormone appears to be important in the early stages of development of the follicles, which contain and support the eggs prior to fertilisation. The more ovarian follicles a woman has, the more anti-Müllerian hormone her ovaries can produce, and so AMH can be measured in the bloodstream to assess how many follicles a woman has left in her ovaries: her ‘ovarian reserve’.
What is AMH Test?
A simple blood test can determine a woman’s AMH levels. This AMH levels test can be done at any point in the menstrual cycle.
Research tells us that the size of the group of growing follicles influences the number of remaining primordial follicles which are believed to reflect a woman’s remaining egg supply (ovarian reserve).
At the time of birth, a woman carries all the eggs that she will ever have. Until their late 30s, most women have excellent reproductive potential. Some patients are less fortunate than others. Low AMH levels can predict which women have fewer eggs of lesser quality and therefore a lower chance of conceiving.
Why amh test is performed?
The AMH test can help to determine the number of eggs and your chances of conceiving. If you have trouble conceiving, then the doctor might recommend that you take the test. Your AMH test report can also help the doctor to determine the value of treatments such as IVF.
AMH Normal Range
- Greater than 1.0 ng/ml indicate normal AMH levels
- Levels of less than 1.0 ng/ml might be a cause for concern.
- If the AMH Levels are greater than 3.0 ng/ml, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) might be the cause.
- Undetectable AMH levels may be indicative of very poor reproductive potential.
What might affect amh test results?
- Excessive smoking (20 cigarettes a day and more) can affect your AMH levels.
- If you have been exposed to toxins that might also affect your ovarian reserve and decrease your AMH levels.
- Environmental smoke from indoor heating is also linked to low AMH levels.
- If you have cancer, chemotherapy can also cause AMH levels to drop significantly.
- Doctors recommend not taking any birth control pills prior to the test.
AMH Test Preparation
The AMH blood test is a very simple test that can be done anytime during the menstrual cycle.
- There are no risks associated with taking the Anti-Mullerian Hormone test.
- The AMH blood test does not require to prepare at all.
- No fasting is required.
- It is recommended to stop birth control pills 1-2 months prior to having an AMH test done.
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