Anti-mullerian hormones (AMH) is produced in male and female reproductive organs. For women, AMH which is found within the tissues of the ovaries and naturally declines over time. In the case of fertility, Studies have shown that the AMH levels may be a useful indicator for ovarian reserve (egg maturation potential) and likelihood of conceiving. Determining the AMH level which can be done by performing a simple blood test may be useful in evaluating a woman’s current fertility status.
Why do you have low AMH levels?
Anti-mullerian hormone levels naturally decrease as we age. A woman approaching menopause would likely have lower AMH levels than someone in her 20s or 30s. It’s also important to consider that lifestyle can play a role, as can genetics. Lifestyle factors that may impact AMH include being overweight, consuming too much alcohol or caffeine, smoking, and being exposed to environmental toxins, to name a few. Many couples today are choosing to delay starting a family; by waiting until you’re 34, 35 or older to become pregnant, you may be surprised to find it isn’t as easy as you expected. Low AMH levels are sometimes the result of a hidden imbalance in the body that can impact fertility.
Oppositely, elevated AMH outside of the normal range may indicate PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a condition that affects 5 – 10 % of women worldwide which can also decrease the odds of conceiving every month.
Anti-mullerian hormone and fertility – will you be able to conceive?
The short answer is most likely. A low (or excessively high) AMH level does not necessarily mean you are infertile, but it does indicate a decline in fertility. It’s also important to keep in mind that even with fewer egg follicles, the remaining reserve may be of good quality.
Evaluating your level of fertility through AMH testing helps us develop the best path going forward whether you are trying to become pregnant naturally, or considering assisted fertility treatment such as IVF.
Some of the terms you may have heard mentioned if you have fertility issues and have been trying to become pregnant for a while include advanced maternal age, poor ovarian reserve, and premature ovarian failure. Low AMH levels are often associated with these conditions, however it is possible to improve egg quality and fertility in a way that’s natural and non-invasive.
How does acupuncture help those with low AMH enjoy better fertility?
Acupuncture reduces stress, balances hormones, increases blood flow to the ovaries, and reduces stagnancy or “blockages” in the energy pathways through the body. Most importantly, improved blood flow means more nutrients, oxygen, and stronger hormone signals are being delivered to nourish the uterus, ovaries and entire reproductive system. Essentially, acupuncture and herbal medicine work to boost fertility by creating higher quality eggs and providing nourishment to developing follicles. Your best overall health and well-being is key to becoming pregnant!
To learn more about low AMH, how it affects your fertility, and how we can help, please view the video above with Dr. Meivys Garcia, Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist from Markham Fertility Centre.