AMH Testing For Ovarian Reserve – How Does it Help and How is it Done

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

AMH Testing

It is common knowledge that a woman’s fertility decreases as her age increases. The older the woman, she might take more time or face more roadblocks with conception. While no one can be certain about the issues or the time frame, with the advancement of technology, today we do AMH testing to know about a woman’s ovarian reserve.

So, what exactly is AMH hormone testing? What details can it provide and when should you take the test? Will the test hurt you physically or financially? If you have too many questions, don’t worry, we’ve got you. Read on to know more about the AMH test and how it can help you plan for pregnancy.

In This Article

What is AMH Hormone?

The AMH – Anti-Mullerian Hormone is present in both males and females but plays a different role in both. For men, their testes make the hormone while the ovaries make them for females. Since the scope of this article is the role of AMH hormone testing for ovarian reserve, we will discuss only the female aspect of this hormone.

The small follicles in a woman’s ovaries produce AMH – a hormone that helps determine how many oocytes remain in the woman’s body. An oocyte is nothing but an immature egg in the ovary, which goes through multiple stages before it becomes a mature egg ready for fertilization.

An AMH test will help determine how much AMH is present in the woman’s body and this in turn will indicate the size of her ovarian reserve. It, however, cannot indicate the health of her eggs and the chances of conception. So AMH is only to check the availability of eggs and not the chances of pregnancy.

Why is AMH Hormone Important For Conception?

AMH Testing Importance

The AMH hormone indicates the size of a woman’s ovarian reserve. So, if a woman of childbearing age has a high level of AMH, she has a large supply of eggs and if the level is low, she has a lower supply of eggs.

A woman’s ovarian reserve decreases with age. Ovarian reserve is the fertility potential of the woman which helps determine if she can get pregnant. While successful conception and pregnancy depend on multiple factors, the ovarian reserve is an important component.

Thus, AMH hormone levels in a woman’s body are very important when it comes to conception – be it naturally or through fertility treatments.

How Can AHM Testing Help?

If you are having trouble conceiving or are in your mid-30s and want to check your fertility levels, your fertility specialist may ask for AMH testing. If your AMH levels are very low or below the required range, most fertility doctors will not even suggest a fertility treatment. No treatment can succeed if there are no eggs to retrieve and use.

Thus, AMH hormone levels in a woman’s body are very important when it comes to conception – be it naturally or through fertility treatments.

An AMH hormone test can also help in the following ways:

  • Indicate when menopause is likely to start
  • In case of early menopause or missed menstrual cycles, the test can shed light on the “why”
  • Help understand the sex of the baby when the genitals are not well developed
  • Confirm diagnosis of PCOS if you are showing symptoms
  • Confirm if treatment is working in the case of ovarian cancer

Ideal Levels of AMH Hormone

The age of the woman has a direct impact on her AMH levels. So, the ideal range will vary depending on her age. The tests will measure and represent AMH levels in ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter).

The AMH test is not a routine test and has not been in practice until recent times. So, there is not enough data to conclude a healthy range.

On average, the doctors agree a normal range for Anti mullerian hormone can be 1.5 to 4 ng/ml.

Anything below 1.5ng/ml is considered low and anything above 4 ng/Ml is considered high.

If you take an AMH test, most lab ranges could be similar to this

  • Average AMH – 1.0 ng/ml – 3.0 ng/ml
  • Low AMH – Below 1.0 ng/ml
  • Very Low AMH – 0.4 ng/ml

Remember, different labs will have different ranges. So, it is best to confirm the readings with your doctor before concluding anything on your own.

Generally, if a woman is below 25 years of age, she should have about 3.0 ng/ml and if she is over 35 years of age, her AMH test can be around 1.5 ng/ml. A high AMH level is not good news either. It could indicate PCOS, which you need to verify with your doctor.

Effects of Low AMH Hormone

Low AMH indicates you have a low ovarian reserve. It does not tell the exact number of eggs left or if you can or cannot get pregnant. Getting a low AMH test result can be concerning but it need not discourage you from trying to conceive.

How is AMH Testing Done For Ovarian Reserve?

How is AMH Testing Done

AMH testing involves a simple blood test. This test can be done on any day of your menstrual cycle, unlike many other fertility tests.

You can alternatively use a home test kit and check your AMH levels too. You will have to prick your finger to extract the blood for the test. So, if you are okay with it, you can try the home test too.

How to Treat Low AMH Levels?

If your low AMH levels are due to underlying conditions like stress, bad diet, ovarian cancer, or PCOS, you need to address those issues. When the underlying issue is medically treated, it can increase your AMH levels. Again, there is no guarantee that treating these ailments will increase your AMH levels or definitely result in a pregnancy.

Detect Low AMH Levels

You cannot confirm low AMH levels without a clinical blood test. Here are some symptoms that can indicate you might have lower-than-average AMH levels

  • Irregular periods
  • Unable to get pregnant
  • Response to ovarian stimulation is low
  • High FSH levels
  • Symptoms of menopause earlier than expected

Your low AMH levels could be due to:

  • Your age (the higher your age, the lower your AMH levels)
  • PCOS
  • Genetics (egg depletion rate can be genetic)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Radiation or chemotherapy to treat your ovarian cancer
  • Surgery involving the ovaries

Can You Increase AMH Levels?

Consulting Doctor to get pregnant

Unfortunately, no, you cannot increase your AMH levels. All women are born with a certain number of eggs. The eggs start depleting even before the woman reaches puberty. The rate of depletion is genetically influenced and so, no one has control over it.

If you have low AMH levels and want to conceive, you can opt for fertility medications that can increase your monthly follicle production, so that more eggs are available for maturing.

You can also undergo fertility treatments where the doctor will extract your eggs and use assisted reproduction technologies to help you conceive.

However, if your low AMH levels are due to ovarian cancer or PCOS, treating the underlying condition may increase your AMH levels. Your doctor will be a better person to advise you on this front.

[Read : Types of Infertility and Treatment Options]

How to Increase AMH Hormone Levels Naturally?

You cannot increase your AMH levels naturally. There is no scientific backing or proof to methods that claim to increase a woman’s AMH levels. However, you can try altering your diet to include more micronutrients and vitamin D.

How to Conceive With Low AMH Hormone Levels

Egg Freezing

Low AMH levels indicate a decreasing ovarian reserve. If you are already trying, you can start tracking your ovulation dates, take guidance from your fertility doctor and increase your chances of conception.

If you are not ready to have a baby just yet, you can always freeze your eggs for later use. Your fertility specialist will explain the process and extract the eggs when you are ovulating. Freezing your eggs helps you conceive with your own eggs instead of using a donor’s, even when you are much older.

[Read : Best Ovulation Period For Pregnancy]

When to Consult a Doctor?

Not everyone gets pregnant on their first attempt. It is natural to take a few tries before you can conceive successfully. However, you should visit your doctor if you 

  • Have been trying to conceive for over a year
  • Are above 35 years of age and plan to get pregnant
  • Want to undergo fertility treatments
  • Are having irregular menstrual cycles and don’t know why
  • Want to freeze your eggs for future use

AMH testing can only tell you about your ovarian reserve. It is only an indication of your fertility and does not tell how many eggs you have left. So, a low or high AMH level does not determine if you can or cannot get pregnant. So, don’t lose heart and consult a fertility specialist if you are having trouble getting pregnant.

[Read : How to Improve Chances of Pregnancy With Irregular Periods?]


1. What is a Good AMH Level to Get Pregnant?

An AMH level above 1.0 ng/ml is considered good enough for conception. However, there are other factors that influence the pregnancy as well. So, an AMH level above average is no guarantee for pregnancy.

2. Can I Get Pregnant With a Low AMH?

Yes, you can. Low AMH means you have a small ovarian reserve, so you still have eggs that can mature for a sperm to fertilize, leading to a successful pregnancy.

Read Also: Normal Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Level to Get Pregnant

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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