The test for egg reserve
Men produce new sperm throughout their adult life, but women are born with their lifetime supply of eggs. These gradually decrease in both quality and quantity as you get older.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone secreted by cells in developing egg sacs (follicles), and the level of AMH in a woman's blood is a good indicator of her ovarian reserve.
This gives us an insight into the remaining quantity of eggs and number of fertile years you may have, athough it cannot tell us a significant amount about the quality of the eggs. AMH does not change during your menstrual cycle, so the blood sample can be taken at any time of the month - even while you are using oral contraception.
Will you need an AMH test?
The AMH test is useful if:
- you have been trying to conceive for over six months, and would like information about whether your ovarian reserve is appropriate for your age
- you are considering IVF or other fertility treatments, as low levels of AMH may indicate a potentially poor response to IVF and conversely a high level may indicate an exaggerated response to the IVF medication
- you have had chemotherapy or ovarian surgery and want to know if it has affected your future fertility
- you suspect an ovarian tumour
- you would like to conceive in the future, and just want to understand your current position.
How we test for AMH
If you are not a current Hunter IVF patient, ask your GP for a referral to Hunter IVF for an AMH test. The test involves you making an appointment for a blood test at the Hunter IVF clinic by calling 4957 8515, which we then analyse in a specialist laboratory.
Results are usually available within a week, and will be sent to your referring doctor. A low AMH level is indicative of poor egg reserve, and you should then consider discussing your situation further with a fertility specialist.
The test costs $75 and does not attract Medicare benefits.
Find out more about infertility
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