"Can I get pregnant with a low AMH?"
I've addressed this before in my daily emails but it's probably the most common question I get in working with women in their 30s and 40s, so let's have another round at it.
First, what IS AMH?
AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone.
It's one of the gold standard blood tests done by fertility doctors to determine a woman's capacity to get pregnant.
These are how the numbers are interpreted:
- Normal - 1.5-4.0 ng/mL
- Low normal - 1.0-1.5 ng/mL
- Low - 0.5-1.0 ng/mL
- Very low - less than 0.5 ng/mL
Doctors give that value a lot of importance cuz it's thought to reflect the size of your remaining egg supply or "ovarian reserve".
The problem is that they don't make the distinction between quantity and quality.
And the primary reason for that is cuz fertility medications are meant to make your ovaries pump out as many eggs as possible. Far more than the normal one egg every month.
So women with higher AMH values tend to have better response to the meds when doing IVF and have more eggs retrieved. In general, having more eggs with IVF gives a higher success rate.
There's a huge BUT though (not butt - lol)
Yes, women with low AMH levels have lower egg quantity (ovarian reserve). But you can still have good egg quality and a realistic chance for a healthy pregnancy.
Using AMH levels as a guideline is useful if you're doing an IVF cycle since the medications are designed for you to ovulate a lot of eggs.
Low AMH indicates that you probably won't respond well to the medications and to adjust your expectations accordingly.
However, it's really not important if you're trying to get pregnant naturally. You only need one good egg. And as long as you're ovulating, you still have a chance.
The great thing is that egg quality can be improved with lifestyle choices.
And I go into great detail about that in my Fertility Top10... zenfertility.com/top10
All my best,
Julie Chang, L.Ac
Natural Fertility Eggspurt