See if you qualify for free egg freezing.
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Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) is a hormone produced by ovarian follicles. It is commonly used as a marker of ovarian reserve and can be measured in the blood. A high AMH level is often associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), but it can also have other causes. In this article, we will explore what a high AMH result means and answer some common questions about AMH testing.

First off, what is AMH?

AMH is a hormone that is produced by the granulosa cells in the ovarian follicles. It plays a role in the growth and maturation of ovarian follicles in females. AMH levels are relatively stable throughout the menstrual cycle and can be measured in the blood.

AMH is commonly used as a marker of ovarian reserve, which is a rough number of eggs that a female has remaining in her ovaries. Since females are born with a fixed number of eggs, this number naturally declines over time. 

What are normal AMH numbers?

What is considered a “normal” AMH level depends on your age, as well as the lab where you take the test. Since there is no international standard, it’s best to use the reference ranges included on the test results (your doctor can share those with you if you did a test through a clinic). 

In general, however, an AMH between 1.0 and 3.5 ng/mL suggests a “normal” range that is likely to have a good response to egg freezing.

If you are looking to donate your eggs, however, minimum AMH requirements may be slightly higher. For example, with Cofertility’s Split program, we require a minimum AMH of 2.0, though clinics may have their own unique requirements. This is to increase the chances of retrieving enough eggs to actually split, to ensure positive outcomes for both parties involved.

What AMH level is considered high?

In healthy females of reproductive age, higher levels of AMH mean that the ovaries have a larger supply of eggs. This means one would be expected to have better than average outcomes for egg freezing. 

Remember, there is no universal standard for AMH, so it can vary depending on the lab where the test is run. Your test results will include if your range is “normal”, “low”, or “high” and the cut-off can differ. For example, Atlanta Fertility considers over 4.5 ng/mL high. Advanced Fertility considers anything over 4.0 ng/ml high. While RMA would consider an AMH over  3.0 ng/ml as “very high”.

With high levels of AMH, you may be at higher risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This means your doctor may choose a specific protocol and/or do extra monitoring to decrease the risk of complications during egg freezing.

What AMH level is considered too high?

Again, this question depends on the lab. Your test results will come with a reference range, and will indicate if your number is high for your age. If your doctor considers your levels abnormally high and has concerns, they will discuss the results with you. 

Common reasons for high AMH

The most common reason for high AMH is that you are very fertile and likely to retrieve more eggs in an egg freezing cycle.  

But a high AMH level may also indicate PCOS, which is a hormonal disorder that affects 8–13% of females of reproductive age. Those with PCOS typically have high levels of androgens (male hormones) and may have irregular periods, acne, and excess hair growth. Patients with an average AMH level ≥ 4.45 ng/ml have a 9.35 times higher likelihood of developing PCOS, but not all patients with a high AMH have PCOS.

In rare cases, abnormally high AMH could be a sign of an ovarian tumor. Certain types of ovarian tumors, such as granulosa cell tumors, can produce high levels of AMH. 

Does high AMH always mean PCOS?

While an increase in AMH levels has been reported to be associated with PCOS, high AMH alone is not enough to diagnose PCOS. 

Not all patients with PCOS have high AMH levels, and not all patients with high AMH levels have PCOS. Diagnosis of PCOS requires a combination of symptoms, hormone levels, and imaging studies, such as ultrasound.

Does high AMH mean good egg quality?

Not necessarily. While a high AMH level is often associated with a larger number of ovarian follicles and eggs, it does not necessarily mean that the eggs are of good quality. Egg quality is determined by factors such as your age, genetics, and environmental factors, and cannot be measured directly by AMH levels.

Am I ovulating if my AMH is high?

AMH levels do not indicate if you’re ovulating or not. Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovary and can be confirmed by monitoring the menstrual cycle and/or performing ultrasound studies.

Will I get a lot of eggs if I have a high AMH?

The success of egg freezing outcomes largely depends on the number and quality of eggs retrieved. Studies have shown that AMH levels can be used as a predictor of egg quantity, and can thus help to predict the potential success of egg freezing. Those with higher AMH levels tend to have better outcomes with egg freezing, as they are likely to have more eggs retrieved and a higher chance of success in future fertility treatments. 

But by no means does a high AMH level guarantee a lot of eggs during an egg retrieval procedure for fertility treatments. The number of eggs retrieved during an egg freezing cycle depends on several factors, including your age, ovarian response to stimulation medications, any other underlying medication conditions, and the skill of the doctor performing the procedure.

What is a good AMH level for egg freezing?

Research has found that AMH is a good predictor of the response to ovarian stimulation and the number of eggs retrieved. Because of this, fertility doctors typically use your AMH levels (along with other biomarkers) to determine the drugs and dosages you will need to maximize your response to ovarian stimulation

Now, what about a correlation between AMH and actual babies born (live birth rate)? Well, while AMH does seem to have some association with live birth rates after IVF, its ability to actually predict a live birth is not that great. This is especially true for younger people. A 2021 study found that AMH is a good predictor of live birth in older (>39 years old), but not younger, people. They found that younger participants (≤38 years old) could get pregnant even with low AMH levels as long as they had frequent egg retrievals. 

Freeze your eggs with Cofertility

One option to make egg freezing better is working with Cofertility. Through our Split program, qualified freezers can freeze their eggs for free when donating half of the eggs retrieved to a family who can’t otherwise conceive. 

Through our Keep program — where you keep 100% of eggs retrieved for your own future use — we offer exclusive discounts on expenses, such as frozen egg storage. Keep members also still gain free access to our Freeze by Co Community, a safe space for those engaging in the egg freezing process (or gearing up for it) to connect and lean on each other. It also enables access to exclusive guidance, free expertise, and community events. 

By making egg freezing easier and more accessible, our programs further strengthen the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)’s Committee Opinion that egg freezing can help promote social justice and strengthen gender equality.

Summing it up

A high AMH level is generally a good sign for your ability to successfully freeze your eggs. But for some, it can also be one indicator of PCOS. While a high AMH level is often associated with a larger number of ovarian follicles and eggs, it does not necessarily mean that the eggs are of good quality (egg quality is more dependent on age). 

AMH levels are commonly used as a marker of ovarian reserve and can be helpful, in conjunction with other measures, in predicting the number of eggs that can be retrieved during an egg freezing cycle. However, it is important to keep in mind that egg quality is determined by several factors and cannot be measured directly by AMH levels. If you have concerns about your fertility or AMH levels, it is important to speak with a fertility doctor for personalized advice and treatment options.

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