AMH test- the new technology in fertility testing
Advancement in technology have had a great impact on medical science on the positive front. One among these latest advances is the new fertility test known as Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) test which is quickly becoming the finest tool for specialists in India to determine fertility. The AMH –a blood test, the new technology in fertility testing is useful to predict ovarian response to stimulation which corresponds to the ovarian reserve of a woman.
Until now, a woman’s ovarian reserve was checked using methods such as Follicular-stimulating hormone (FSH) test, basal estradiol and antral follicular count and now measurement of blood levels of a hormone known as AMH. FSH levels and basal estradiol levels are measured using a blood test between day 2 – 5 of a woman’s menstrual cycle, as it can fluctuate within a month and also from month to month. On the other hand, AMH concentrations fluctuate very little during the menstrual cycle and therefore a blood sample can be taken at anytime on any day.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a simple blood test which can help women check the status of their fertility and gives the exact information about the quantity of eggs. Dr. Manjunath C S, Clinical Director, Nova IVI Fertility Bengaluru said, “Women are born with about one million eggs. Egg quantity and quality declines with age but the decline is faster in the late 30’s and early 40s. Normally there is a slow decline in the number of viable eggs in the ovaries over time, however a small number of women have a faster rate of egg loss. Low ovarian reserve would correspond to fewer eggs and therefore fewer chances of having babies. AMH is a hormone secreted by cells in developing egg sacs. As the number of these egg sacs fall over time, the level of AMH made also decreases.”
“Women with a family history of early menopause, a history of surgery to the ovary or severe endometriosis, and those who have had previous chemotherapy or radiation for cancer or will be undergoing treatment for cancer, are all at increased risk of early diminished ovarian reserve”, Dr. Manjunath added.
Experts recommend this test for any woman who is over 30 and wishes to postpone childbearing but eventually would like to plan pregnancy. If her score is low, she might wish to re-consider her decision. If it’s normal, she can postpone childbearing but repeat the test at yearly intervals to assess if there is drop in AMH levels. With an increasing number of women delaying child-bearing, it is essential for them to check their chances of getting pregnant, for it can be much lower than they would like to believe. This novel marker can play an important role in helping women in managing their health and fertility issues.