AMH (anti mullerian hormone) is a hormone which is often measured by IVF clinics to identify how hard your ovaries are working, it is NOT a direct measure of your ovarian reserve.
Women are born with all of their eggs, so it is not possible to create new ones. AMH can go up as well as down, for example if you have Poly Cystic Ovaries you may have a very high AMH, but this does not mean you have a high ovarian reserve. A small number of eggs will be maturing at any one time, these are known as antrical follicles and can often be seen on a scan of the ovaries. Egg quality is a more relevant factor when trying to conceive naturally and this can be influenced positively through nutrition and lifestyle changes prior to conception. The lowest AMH I have successfully worked with is 0.1, I haven’t worked with lower so I can’t say if this is the lowest possible to succeed to conceive.
Low Ovarian Reserve is a term often interchanged with low AMH, though they don’t mean the same thing. There is no doubt that as women get older their ovarian reserve declines and so too their egg quality can decline. The good news is that nutrition and lifestyle changes can improve egg quality and only one good egg (along with healthy sperm) is required for a successful conception.
Having low anti mullerian hormone means that your are recruiting fewer follicles from your ovaries than would be expected for your age.
The cause of this could be;
- You are or were a smoker – smoking has been shown to reduce AMH so it is a good idea to quit.
- You have only 1 functioning ovary – AMH will be less active if it only has 1 ovary to work with.
- Your Vitamin D levels are low.
- Other hormones are out of balance – hormones act a messengers, if other hormones are not functioning at optimum your AMH may not be triggered correctly .
- DHEA levels are low.
The chart opposite outlines the relationship between the main fertility hormones. The Now Baby fertility programmes aim to establish stability in all tiers so that the flow of hormones regularises itself with simple nutrition and lifestyle changes.