The Egg Reserve (Anti Mullarian Hormone) Test

Nov 11, 2015 - 3:06pm

The Egg Reserve (Anti Mullarian Hormone) Test

You are a successful female professional in your 30s. However, you still haven’t met the right partner to start a family. You wish to explore your options to increase the chances of having children in the future.

Unlike something apparent such as fitness level, fertility is hard to pin down. Most women do not think about their reproductive capacity until they hit thirties or start ‘trying’ for a baby.

In contrast to men, who produce sperm throughout their adult life, women are born with their lifetime supply of oocytes (immature eggs). Each monthly ovulation cycle produces a mature egg that is released into the fallopian tube, which has a chance to be fertilised by sperm. The eggs that have been released but not fertilised, will die via a process called apoptosis.

As the woman gets older, her ovarian reserve will continue to decline, as well as increased risk of the eggs produced being chromosomally abnormal. Whilst there are no tests to tell us the quality of the eggs we can have some idea of how many are in storage.

What does the AMH test tell me?

Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone secreted by the ovarian cells in developing egg sacs (follicles). The level of AMH in a woman’s blood reflects her egg reserve in the ovary. In other words, an AMH test gives us some insight into the fertility status of a woman.

Am I a suitable candidate to have an AMH test?

The AMH test is recommended:

• If you are of a fertile age and have been unsuccessful at conceiving after 6 month or more.

• If you are considering to undergo a fertility or an IVF process.

• If you have had a procedure that could have affected your egg storage capacity such as chemotherapy.

• If you are in your 30s and would like to conceive in the future, but not in the relationship at the moment. This test can help to understand where you are in relation to your reproductive life.

How do I organise an AMH test?

You will need to organize a referral from you GP to a fertility specialist who will organise an AMH test for you as well as provide you with the interpretation of the results.

What is the cost of an AMH test?

The AMH test is not covered by Medicare and costs $75. 

A word of caution …

It is important to understand that AMH test only tests ovarian reserve, but not the egg quality and is only one of the tools to help us assess a woman’s fertility.

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Has AMH test help your decision making regarding your reproductive life?

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