Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) is produced by the woman’s ovaries and the man’s testicles. Its concentration in the blood depends on the person’s sex and age. It is used to evaluate a woman’s remaining fertility.
During intrauterine development, AMH secretion stimulates the formation of testes instead of ovaries in boys. AMH levels remain high until puberty, then they drop.
In girls, AMH remains low until puberty when the ovaries begin to release mature eggs. From the age of 25 until menopause, the concentration of AMH gradually decreases until it’s barely detectable.
WHEN IS AN AMH TEST NEEDED?
Anti-Müllerian hormone is secreted from the granulosa cells of the ovarian follicles. Its concentration is proportional to the number of follicles. Therefore, the more the follicles, the higher the concentration of AMH.
AMH testing in combination with ovarian ultrasound is the gold standard for determining the ovarian reserve. This study is needed when your doctor suspects premature ovarian failure, or they want to predict whether controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COHS) will be successful. If the ovarian reserve is depleted, AMH levels in the blood will be too low for your age and you should consider getting pregnant through donor eggs.
The polycystic ovarian syndrome is very common nowadays. In patients with PCOS, AMH levels are higher. This test is very informative but not conclusive.
In some ovarian tumors, the concentration of AMH in the blood is significantly increased. Changes in it can tell whether the treatment has been successful or there has been a relapse.
AMH testing is also useful for determining the sex of a baby with ambiguous genitalia. These cases are extremely rare, and genetic testing has the final say.
HOW IS THE TEST PERFORMED?
AMH testing is done by a simple blood test. The blood sample can be taken on any day of the menstrual cycle as AMH levels remain relatively stable. No special preparation is required before taking the blood sample. Pregnancy and hormonal contraceptives do not affect the result.