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Anti-Mullerian Hormone AMH-Female

Also Known as:    AMH hormone test, müllerian-inhibiting hormone, MIH, müllerian inhibiting factor, MIF, müllerian-inhibiting substance, MIS

What is an Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH ) test?

The anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) level in the blood is measured in this test. Both males and females produce AMH in their reproductive tissues. Your age and gender determine the role of AMH and whether or not your levels are normal.

AMH plays an integral part in developing a baby's sex organs while still in the womb. A baby's reproductive organs begin to develop during the first weeks of pregnancy. The baby will be born with the genes to be either a male(XY genes) or a female (XX genes). If the baby possesses a male (XY) gene, high levels of AMH and other male hormones are produced. This inhibits the development of female organs while encouraging the growth of male organs. Organs of both sexes may form if there isn't enough AMH to impede the development of female organs.

When this happens, a baby's genitals may be challenging to distinguish between male and female. The term for this is ambiguous genitalia (Intersex). Trim levels of AMH are produced if the unborn baby possesses female (XX) genes. Female reproductive organs can develop as a result of this. Females after puberty have a different role for AMH. The ovaries (glands that produce egg cells) start making AMH around this period. The more egg cells there are, the higher is the level of AMH.

AMH levels in women can provide information about fertility and the ability to conceive. The test could potentially be used to diagnose menstruation abnormalities or keep track of the health of women who have specific types of ovarian cancer.

AMH is important during a woman's reproductive years. A female has roughly one million eggs (oocytes) at birth, which generally decline to about 500,000 during childhood. Only a tiny percentage of these eggs will mature into follicles, one at a time, throughout a woman's monthly menstrual cycle. During the process of egg maturation and release (ovulation), AMH has a balancing influence on the monthly cyclical actions of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). Thus the follicular growth is reflected by the amount of AMH present. The AMH level has been demonstrated to effectively assess a woman's remaining egg maturation potential (ovarian reserve) and her chances of conceiving. During the childbearing years, AMH decreases gradually, reduces considerably as menopause approaches, and is essentially undetectable after menopause. The level of AMH can be used to assess a woman's current reproductive status and may also predict the onset of menopause.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a disorder affecting the ovaries, has also been linked to elevated AMH levels. AMH is produced in vast amounts by the extra follicles that develop in this disease.

What is the test used for?

An AMH test is commonly used to determine a woman's ability to produce fertile eggs for pregnancy. A woman's ovaries can produce thousands of eggs during her childbearing years. As a woman gets older, this number decreases. The amount of AMH in a woman's blood can indicate how many potential egg cells she still has (ovarian reserve). A woman with a high ovarian reserve may have a better probability of becoming pregnant. She may also delay attempting to conceive for months or even years. If a woman's ovarian reserve is low, she may have difficulty getting pregnant and should try to have a baby as soon as possible.

AMH tests can be used for a variety of purposes, including:

  • Predict the onset of menopause, the period in a woman's life when her monthly periods have stopped, and she can no longer become pregnant. It usually begins when a woman reaches the age of 50.
  • Finding out the cause of early menopause.
  • Assist in determining the cause of amenorrhea or menstrual irregularities.  It's more common among girls who haven't started menstruation by 15 and women who have missed multiple menstrual cycles.
  • Aid in diagnosing polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal condition that becomes a prevalent cause of female infertility.
  • Coupled with chromosome testing, hormone testing, and sometimes imaging scans may be ordered to help determine the sex of an infant with external genitals that are not male or female (ambiguous genitalia).
  • They are used as a tumor marker to monitor treatment effectiveness for women with certain types of ovarian cancer and check for recurrence.

Why and when do you need this test?

If you are a woman having trouble conceiving, you may need an AMH test. The test can help you determine how likely you are to have a child. If you're already seeing a fertility specialist, the test may be used to forecast how well you'll respond to treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF).

High levels could indicate that you have more eggs available and respond to treatment better. You may have fewer eggs available and may not respond well to treatment if your AMH levels are low.

  • If you have signs of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you may also need an AMH test (PCOS). These are some of them:
  • Menstrual irregularities, such as early menopause or amenorrhea
  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth on body  face
  • Reduced breast size
  • The gain in body weight
  • Enlarged ovaries
  • Skin tags in armpits or neck 
  • Thinning of hair 

In addition, if you are being treated for ovarian cancer, you may need an AMH test. The test can reveal whether or not your treatment is effective.

What kind of sample is required for the test?

A small needle will be used by a healthcare professional to obtain a blood sample from a vein in your arm.  A small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial once the needle is inserted. When the hand goes in or out, it may sting a little. It usually takes less than five minutes to complete this process.

Do you need to prepare for the test?

An AMH test does not require any specific preparation.

Are there any risks to this test?

Having a blood test carries relatively little risk. You may experience minor pain or bruising where the needle gets inserted, but most symptoms disappear quickly.

What do the test results mean?

If you're a woman trying to get pregnant, your test results might help determine how likely you are to conceive. It can also assist you in deciding when to start trying to conceive. A high amount of AMH may indicate that your chances of becoming pregnant are better, and you may have a longer time before testing. A high AMH level could indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS has no cure, but it can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes like eating a healthy diet and waxing or shaving to remove excess body hair.

If your level is low, you may have difficulty conceiving. It could also indicate the onset of menopause. It is typical in young girls and women after menopause to have low levels of AMH.

If you're being treated for ovarian cancer, your test result may reveal whether or not your treatment is effective.

A low level of AMH in a male child could indicate a hereditary or hormonal issue, resulting in genitals that are not identified as male or female. If the baby's AMH levels are normal, they may have working testicles but not in the appropriate place. Surgery or hormonal therapy can be used to treat this condition.

It is always recommended to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions regarding your test results. 

Related Tests: Follicle stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinizing Hormone (LH) ,Estrogens, Testosterone Free, Progesterone

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