AMH Test to Determine Fertility
With more and more women postponing pregnancy for their careers, it’s no surprise we hear about so many who are wondering how much time they have left to have a baby. We’ve all heard the stories about women who waited too long or put their careers ahead of family and couldn’t get pregnant when they were ready. Therefore, it’s natural that women are wondering if they’re still ovulating and how much time they have left before their eggs run out. The makers of the AMH test claim to be able to answer these questions.
What is AMH?
AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone. AMH is produced by the egg follicle that the ovaries grow to prepare an egg for release into the fallopian tube. The levels of AMH found in the blood could be an indicator of a woman’s ovarian function. Essentially, an AMH test can tell you if your ovaries are still releasing eggs.
The theory is that because the level of anti-mullerian hormone found in the blood does not fluctuate throughout the month, it could be an accurate predictor of whether a woman is still fertile and how many eggs she has left in her ovaries. The manufactures claim that it is more accurate than a simple oestrogen test. If they’re right, then the test would be a predictor of who’s more likely to have success with in-vitro fertilization.
In addition to the test’s possible applications as a predictor of fertility, it may also be useful as a test for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It is believed that women with PCOS have elevated levels of AMH in their blood, which would make the AMH test ideal for diagnosis.
How the Test is Done
Currently, the test is not covered by insurance and it expensive to have done. To perform the test 3mls of blood is taken on the second or third day of the woman’s period. Using the results of the test and an "Ovarian Reserve Index", the estimated number of eggs remaining in the ovaries is plotted on a graph showing the woman’s position compared with the average number for her age group. Makers of the test claim that this will predict ovarian reserves for the next two years.
There is some controversy over what exactly this test can truly tell you, if anything. Using the test as a predictor of menopause is probably useless, but using it as an indicator of ovarian reserves may be more feasible. Whatever the use, fertility experts currently believe that the AMH test is about 70 percent accurate.