What is AMH?
Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone secreted by the cells of the developing antral and pre-antral folliclesantral and pre-antral follicles (or egg sacks) in the ovaries. Once secreted from these growing follicles, AMH stops more immature ones from getting recruited into the maturation process, so that not all the eggs mature all at the same time. Because AMH reflects the number of eggs maturing in the ovaries on their way to ovulation, AMH is a strong indicator of a woman's ovarian reserve (OR) - the ovaries' ability to produce good-quality eggs.
Low AMH Signals Low Ovarian Reserve
As women age, the number of follicles/eggs available for reproduction gradually declines, and together, AMH levels decline with age. Reproductive endocrinologists can assess how well a woman’s ovaries are functioning, by evaluating her AMH levels. Women with low AMH levels have a condition called diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). Women with low AMH have lower pregnancy chances (with or without IVF) than women with normal AMH at their age. With low AMH levels, fertility treatment must be carefully tailored to each patient’s ovarian reserve status (as well as other compounding factors) in order to be successful. This individualization of IVF protocols is what differentiates CHR from most other IVF centers.
Causes of Low AMH
Anything that disrupts the feedback cycle of follicular development and AMH secretion can cause low AMH. This can be due to autoimmune attack on the ovaries (the patient’s own immune system attacking the ovaries), or it can be genetic. One of the more recent research findings at CHR was the involvement of the FMR1 gene in regulating how the ovarian reserve changes over time for each woman: Women with a particular type of FMR1 gene were more likely to develop DOR at a younger age. Depending on the cause of low AMH and DOR, CHR physicians develop different treatment approaches in order to maximize the pregnancy chances with IVF for women with low AMH levels.
Read more about Anti-Müllerian Hormone
Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone secreted by the cells of the developing...
Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.
Last Updated: October 8, 2018