Have you been told you have a low AMH? Has this made you concerned about your fertility
either now or in the future? Keep reading on, this is for you.
AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone. AMH is secreted from your antral follicles. Antral follicles are in the last stages of follicle maturation prior to ovulation.
Here is where it’s helpful to learn a bit about your follicle development. There are 5 key stages of follicle maturation:
1. Primordial follicle
2. Primary follicle
3. Secondary follicle
4. Antral follicle
5. Mature oocyte/ovulation
Your primordial follicles are all the follicles/egg cells you have in your ovaries and are in the very first stage of follicle development. When an egg gets selected, it changes from a primordial follicle, to primary, to secondary then to antral, all stages helping this follicle mature the egg for ovulation. To get from a primordial follicle all the way to ovulation takes roughly 13 months! (A key reason why preconception care is so crucial long before you want to get pregnant).
From the antral follicle to ovulation takes approximately three months, this is when the follicles receive a rich blood supply and start responding to hormone stimulation as well as secreting hormones, one of them being AMH.
AMH is often used as a marker of understanding ovarian reserve, with many women being advised on what type of path to take on their journey to motherhood based on their result.
When AMH results are perceived as “low”, IVF is often recommended and/or using donor eggs.
Receiving a low AMH result can be a stressful experience, as a fear of having “not enough eggs” is relayed to the woman and a question mark is placed next to her fertility. However, this is not providing the whole picture! As we can see above, AMH is ONLY secreted from your antral follicles, which demonstrates your current level of follicle recruitment and NOT the number of eggs you have remaining/your ovarian reserve.
In fact, there is no definitive test that can accurately determine your number of primordial follicles, which is your true ovarian reserve. Not even AMH! AMH only gives an insight into the latter stages of current follicle development.
Your fertility is far more rich, nuanced and complex than just one hormone. Your AMH result alone does not determine your likelihood of pregnancy and motherhood.
Here at FemTek we love supporting women to understand their bodies better and putting you back in the driver’s seat of your own health!