Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anti Mullerian Hormone: (AMH)Fertility "Egg Timer" Test Not Valid for All

Recently a few reports have shown that a test measuring the number of eggs a woman has left has been discovered. Some are calling it the Egg Timer Test. They are touted this as a new test but we have seen it around for the last 3-4 years.

The test measures Antimullerian hormone (AMH) which supposedly diminishes as women "run out of eggs" However there are several reasons why this test is not valid or accurate for all women trying to conceive.

1) At Sharkeys Healing Centre and naturalfertility.com we have had patients who were told based on their AMH, there was no chance they could conceive. They came to us and now have children either naturally or with IVF. One woman in particular who was told she definitely did not have any eggs left because of her AMH, went on to have children, one naturally and one with IVF. Other couples at our clinic have had the same experience.

2) The new studies out of Harvard University show that women may actually regenerate their eggs each month and not have millions hanging around over the years. Ask your doctor this, "When they open an ovary do the see any eggs? The answer will be no, they only see follicles growing on the ovaries and according to the journal Reproduction, The Journal of the Society for Reproduction and Fertility in the Netherlands states: Direct measurement of the primordial follicle pool is impossible.

The scientists are basically making assumptions based on the number of growing follicles that they can see on the ovaries or a based on a substance released by these follicles, AMH.

3) Other tests such as FSH when it is high have been touted as evidence that a women is not producing eggs any more. They have also used a combination of FSH and AMH many times. But high FSH does not always indicate menopause if estrogen levels are normal. We have had women with FSH as high as 150, bring these levels down to under 10 and become pregnant when they follow our program.

4) There are no long term studies to see if AMH levels are an indicator of fertility. This test is only based on theory, not fact. WHat I mean is, I have researched thru many journals and have not found any study that has looked at women and AMH levels in their 20's or 30's and then followed these women until menopause to determine who had children and who didn't. Until then, it can not be used as an indicator. However there was on study on cows that indicates that when a female cow has low AMH levels it will not respond well to "superovulation" treatments.

According to this study low AMH is not associated with reproductive function. In overweight and obese women with PCOS and reproductive dysfunction, a 20-week weight loss intervention resulted in improvements in reproductive function but no change in AMH levels. If reproductive function improved and AMH was associated with it, wouldn't you think those levels would improve as well???

I think AMH would be a good indicator of who will not respond to IVF or other artificial procedures but does NOT indicate whether a couple can conceive or not. Spread the word, that this test is NOT an accurate indicator for women to become pregnant. Some in Conventional medicine to say that using alternative methods such as herbs or supplements is not based in fact, however, when its suits them, conventional medicine uses only theory (not fact) to support their position.