FSH, or Follicle Stimulating Hormone used to be considered the “Gold Standard” in gauging a woman’s ovarian reserve – but no longer! AMH, or Antimullerian Hormone, is a more informative test than FSH to guage a woman’s ovarian reserve. It’s even better than FSH at predicting a successful outcome with fertility treatment.
An article published in Fertility and Sterility explains why AMH is truly a better test than FSH. Although FSH testing has been used since 1988 to assess ovarian reserve, clinicians have realized its limitations (like the fact that it can only be tested on the third day of a woman’s menstrual cycle).
AMH, on the other hand, has a number of benefits:
- AMH can be obtained at any point in the menstrual cycle
- It has age age-specific values and ranges
- AMH detects high ovarian reserve, which is a risk factor of hyperstimulation. (An AMH of 5 or higher is consistent with predisposition to hyperstimulation and polycystic ovaries.)
- A woman’s AMH levels will change before FSH goes up. This makes AMH an earlier marker of diminished ovarian reserve.
- AMH provides more information to the patient and the doctor regarding the current egg supply, and if you test it over time you get a better sense of rate of decline.
AMH Levels and Fertility
Higher AMH levels usually indicate a normal ovarian reserve. Lower levels usually indicate a woman having diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). Since a woman’s fertility declines as she ages, it’s not unusual that her AMH levels would also decline as she ages.
However, sometimes a woman will have a lower AMH level than others at the same age. Depending on her age and life goals, the result of this test allows a woman to choose how to proceed, whether she would like a baby now or in the future.
Original post October 18, 2013
Updated June 23, 2021