Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by Beth Skwarecki
Many people are unaware of the importance of the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), According to the NIH study, it is a key actor in the reproductive world until they have trouble establishing or growing their families. AMH is a critical indicator of ovarian reserve that provides information about a woman’s capacity for pregnancy. AMH levels naturally decrease with aging, which might impact fertility. However, how to increase AMH levels can enable people to take charge of their reproductive health. The importance of AMH, variables impacting its levels, and helpful insights on both natural and medicinal methods to raise AMH levels and promote reproductive ambitions are all covered in this thorough guide.
AMH is a hormone generated by the ovaries, specifically by the tiny follicles inside them. It is an important indicator of the ovarian reserve by showing the quantity and caliber of a woman’s remaining eggs. Higher AMH levels often indicate a more robust ovarian reserve, whereas lower levels might signify a decreased ability to conceive.
Age-related declines in AMH levels make it a key consideration in talks about fertility. It is necessary to recognize AMH’s function in fertility prediction, its relationship with ovarian reserve, and the different variables, such as age and genetics, that affect its levels. This information is essential for those who want to evaluate their reproductive health and make wise family planning decisions.
The Importance of AMH Levels
AMH stands for anti-Müllerian hormone, a substance produced by the follicles in the ovaries. AMH levels can indicate how many eggs a woman has left in her ovarian reserve, which is essential for fertility planning and treatment. Furthermore, AMH levels can also help diagnose conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or premature ovarian failure (POF), which affect ovarian function and hormone balance.
AMH levels are measured by a blood test, usually done on the third day of the menstrual cycle. The usual range of AMH levels varies depending on the age and stage of the woman’s reproductive life. Still, higher AMH levels generally mean higher ovarian reserve and better chances of conceiving, while lower AMH levels mean lower ovarian reserve and reduced fertility potential.
Factors Affecting AMH Levels
Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is a protein ovary cells produce that affects egg quality and quantity. Age, genetics, lifestyle, and medical conditions can influence AMH levels.
Age is the most important factor that affects AMH levels. As women age, their ovarian reserve declines, and their AMH levels decrease. The average AMH level for women in their 20s is about 3.5 ng/mL, while the average level for women in their 40s is about 0.7 ng/mL. However, there is a wide range of normal values for AMH levels, and some women may have higher or lower levels than others of the same age.
Genetics also plays a role in determining AMH levels. Some women may inherit a higher or lower ovarian reserve from their parents, which affects their AMH levels. Additionally, some genetic mutations or syndromes can affect the development or function of the ovaries, leading to lower AMH levels. For example, women with Turner or Fragile X syndrome may have reduced ovarian reserve and lower AMH levels.
#3. Lifestyle factors
Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, obesity, exercise, and diet, can also influence AMH levels. Smoking can damage the eggs and reduce the ovarian reserve, resulting in lower AMH levels. Obesity can affect the hormonal balance and interfere with the production of AMH. Exercise and diet can positively or negatively affect AMH levels, depending on the type, intensity, and duration of physical activity and the quality and quantity of food intake.
#4. Medical conditions
Medical conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, ovarian cysts, tumors, infections, or surgeries, can also affect AMH levels. PCOS is a condition that causes multiple small cysts to form in the ovaries, which can increase the production of AMH. Endometriosis is a condition that causes the tissue that normally lines the uterus to grow outside of it, which can damage the ovaries and reduce the ovarian reserve. Ovarian cysts, tumors, infections, or surgeries can also affect the number or quality of the eggs in the ovaries, leading to changes in AMH levels.
How To Increase AMH Levels?
Many women trying to conceive naturally or with assisted reproductive techniques (ART) want to increase their AMH levels. Here are some tips to do so:
- Eat a balanced diet: A diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Avoid processed foods, added sugars, alcohol, caffeine, and trans fats that can harm egg quality and ovarian function.
- Supplements intake: Take supplements that can boost the ovarian reserve, such as vitamin D, coenzyme Q10, DHEA, melatonin, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, consult your doctor before taking any supplements, as some may have side effects or interactions with other medications.
- Exercise regularly but moderately: Physical activity can improve blood circulation, hormonal balance, insulin sensitivity, and overall health. However, excessive or intense exercise can stress the body and lower the AMH levels. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least three times a week.
- Manage your stress levels: Stress can negatively affect the reproductive hormones and ovarian function. Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, hobbies, or counseling.
- Avoid smoking and exposure to environmental toxins: Smoking can damage the DNA of the eggs and accelerate ovarian aging. Environmental toxins, such as pesticides, plastics, and heavy metals, can also interfere with the hormonal balance and egg quality. Try to avoid or minimize your exposure to these harmful substances.
- Ovarian Reserve Testing: Fertility specialists often perform ovarian reserve testing, which includes measuring AMH levels. This test provides a quantitative assessment of a woman’s remaining egg supply. The results help in understanding fertility potential and planning appropriate treatments.
- Hormone Therapy: In some cases, hormone therapy may be recommended to increase AMH levels. This therapy typically involves medications like Clomiphene citrate or Letrozole, which stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs. However, undergoing such treatments under medical supervision is crucial, as they may have side effects and should be carefully monitored.
- Surgical Interventions: In rare cases, surgical procedures like ovarian drilling may be considered for women with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This procedure involves making small incisions in the ovaries to improve hormone balance and potentially enhance AMH levels.
What are the Ideal AMH levels for IVF?
AMH (anti-müllerian hormone) is produced by the ovarian follicles’ cells. It is often used as a marker of ovarian reserve or the number of eggs a woman has left. AMH levels can help predict how a woman may respond to IVF (in vitro fertilization) stimulation and how many eggs she may produce. However, AMH levels do not indicate the quality of the eggs or the chances of natural conception.
According to various sources, the optimal AMH levels for IVF are:
- 45 years old – 0.5ng/ml
- 40 years old – 1ng/ml
- 35 years old – 1.5ng/ml
- 30 years old – 2.5ng/ml
- 25 years old – 3ng/ml
General ranges for AMH levels:
- Average: Between 1.0 ng/mL to 3.0 ng/mL.
- Low: Under 1.0 ng/mL.
- Severely low: 0.4 ng/mL.
These ranges suggest a good or high ovarian reserve and a better response to IVF medication. However, AMH levels are not the only factor that determines IVF success. Other tests, such as FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), estradiol, antral follicle count, and more, may also be used to assess ovarian function and fertility potential.
Risks and Considerations
- Side Effects: Medical interventions to increase AMH levels, such as hormone therapy, may come with side effects, including mood swings, hot flashes, and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Understanding these potential side effects is essential before starting any treatment.
- Medical Supervision: It’s crucial to undergo any fertility-related medical intervention under the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider or fertility specialist. They can monitor your progress, adjust treatment, and ensure your safety.
- Individual Variability: Responses to medical interventions can vary widely among individuals. What works for one person may be less effective for another. Personalized treatment plans are essential to address individual needs and optimize outcomes.
- Cost: Fertility treatments and interventions can be expensive, and insurance coverage may vary. It’s essential to consider the financial implications and plan accordingly.
- Emotional and Psychological Impact: The journey to boost AMH levels and improve fertility can be emotionally challenging. It’s essential to have a support system in place and be prepared for the emotional ups and downs that may accompany fertility treatments.
AMH levels are crucial for assessing ovarian reserve and fertility potential. Understanding factors affecting AMH, exploring natural and medical interventions, and considering individual circumstances are essential for managing fertility and making informed decisions about family planning. Consulting a fertility specialist is key.
Beth is Cloudmineinc’s senior health editor and a certified personal trainer. She has over 10 years experience as a science journalist and is the author of two books. She deadlifts over 315 lbs.