What is AMH?

I will never forget the phone call from the doctors surgery when I was told “your progesterone is fine but you have a low AMH which means that you don’t have many eggs left”. The terror that filled my body is something that will stay with me forever.

I see many clients who have a low AMH who are equally concerned, and the good news is that many go on to conceive with their own eggs either naturally or with medical intervention(IVF/IUI).

AMH, short for anti-mullerian hormone is a hormone which is released by the follicles in a woman’s ovaries. It is an indicator of egg reserve, or how many eggs that we have left. Women are born with all of the eggs that they will have (approximately 1-2 million at birth!) and each month one egg matures and is released at ovulation whilst the follicles that do not ripen to form an egg dissolve.

As women age so do their eggs. Some eggs will be chromosomally normal and others will not, and typically more normal eggs are released the younger a woman is. This is why as women age they tend to have less genetically normal eggs which can lead to issues around conception, implantation and miscarriage.

AMH is generally a useful indicator for how many eggs a woman may produce in an IVF cycle, however it is not an indicator of egg quality. I have seen many clients who have produced lots of eggs in an IVF cycle but hardly any made it to day 5 (usually needed for transfer), and other women who have had less than 5 collected who have nearly all still viable at day 5.

There is a lot that we can do in terms of nutritional support for egg quality. If you have a low AMH but ovulate each month the most important thing is to look at how to optimise the quality of your eggs.

Remember, you only need one egg and one sperm so quality really is more important than quantity.