A fertility journey looks different for everyone. You can identify your own unique set of circumstances with your healthcare providers, and there are tests that both men and women can take that can help to provide insight.
As you may know, a female baby is born with all the eggs she will ever have. The passage of time affects the quantity of those eggs, and a variety of issues from gynecological disorders to lifestyle choices can impact the quality of the remaining eggs. For that reason, there is one test in particular that can be helpful when assessing your fertility: the AMH Test. Whether you are trying to conceive or are not ready to start a family yet but would like to know more about your body, this test is an indicator of your current egg reserve. It can be an excellent tool for assessing your fertility.
What is a fertility test?
An AMH test is a blood test that looks at your Anti-Müllerian hormone levels to assess your egg reserve. It does this by measuring AMH levels, which then gives your doctor insight into how many eggs you may have on reserve. Although AMH varies throughout the cycle, the variation is slight, which means you do not have to take the test on a specific cycle day.
It’s important to note that all of the tests done when trying to conceive are only providing a snapshot of where you’re at in that exact moment. It’s best to discuss all results with your practitioners so they can help make sense of it.
What is it looking for?
The purpose is to give you an idea of your egg reserve, which should help you understand how much time you have to start a family. It measures the anti-Müllerian hormone, which is an ovarian reserve marker. It gives you an indication of the ovarian reserve at the time of testing and does not provide any insight into how easy conception will be, nor does it assess the quality of the eggs. A typical AMH level for a fertile woman is 1.0–4.0 ng/ml; under 1.0 ng/ml is considered low, and a sign of a diminished ovarian reserve.
What are some factors that might impact the results?
Hormonal birth control may impact the results for this test (making the measurement lower than it would typically be). It is a good idea to come off the pill 3-6 months before trying to conceive anyway, so wait until you have stopped taking your pills to take the test. Gynecological issues, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), may result in artificially high numbers.
You have the results, now what?
Once you have the results, there are a few steps that can be taken; meeting with your practitioner may be the best place to start. They can help to create a treatment plan based on your results and if your egg reserves are showing low numbers, they can help improve the quality of the eggs you have remaining.
They may suggest things like coming off birth control or altering extreme workout routines and diet choices. They will also help treat any gynecological conditions that you may have. Since this test is a snapshot of the moment, it leaves some room for adjustments. If the initial test results higher, it is a reassuring sign that you will have a healthy amount of viable eggs when you try to conceive. However, it’s important to note that even if the reserve numbers are in the right place at the time of your testing, it does not mean that they will continue to be when you start to try to conceive.
Your doctors and practitioners can help provide ways to assist you in taking control of your journey.