Having low Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is not a cause of infertility, but it is an indication of a decreased amount of eggs available to your ovaries.
What is AMH?
AMH is a hormone which is given off by developing follicles, which are the small ovarian cysts containing immature eggs. By measuring this with a blood test, it gives us an idea of the state of your ovarian reserve and how many eggs are left in your ovaries.
Why is measuring this important? This test can help us work out whether and how quickly treatment is needed, and also how you may respond to treatment.
Ageing and AMH Levels
The primary reason for low AMH levels is ageing. Early ovarian ageing due to genetic factors, autoimmune disorders and post treatment for cancer, can all impact your AMH levels and ovarian function.
Your Lifestyle and AMH
Lifestyle factors can impact your levels, with exposure to toxins affecting your ovarian reserve and decreasing your AMH levels.
- Cigarette smoking is linked to low AMH levels and early menopause.
- Drug treatments like chemotherapy can cause AMH and ovarian reserve to drop significantly.
- Exposure to environmental toxins, such as heavy smoke has also been linked to low AMH levels.
- Surgery to remove an ovarian cyst can also reduce the ovarian reserve and the AMH
Treatment for low AMH
There is no known therapy that can increase the number of eggs in the ovaries. Women are born with the eggs they will produce for their entire lifetime, but what we can do is be proactive! If a patient comes to see me with a low AMH and a history of infertility, I would be recommend seeking more advanced treatment sooner.
Any woman who wants to know more about her fertility should see a general practitioner and request a referral to see a fertility specialist, such as myself. Your GP can order an AMH test so that your result is available to discuss at our first fertility consultation.
The most important message about AMH is that it’s not the be all or end all of your fertility journey. The result should be interpreted solely for each woman and her plans for future fertility, as a part of a comprehensive assessment with a fertility specialist.