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Ovarian Reserve, AMH Testing, and Your Fertility: Everything You Need to Know

It’s only been 50 years since the average American woman had her first child before the age of 22. Our society has changed significantly since the 1970s, and more women than ever before are waiting until later in life to have children. Some wish to pursue higher education or career accomplishments, while others wait to secure the ideal life partner or financial stability before getting pregnant.

This new trend in modern society has revealed the need for accessible, proactive fertility planning. Unfortunately, most insurances only cover fertility testing and treatment costs when a medical issue arises. If you want a family in the future, you deserve access to the information that can help you make the best fertility and pregnancy choices for you.

AMH testing provides a simple, affordable, and accurate way to assess your ovarian reserve and help you take control of your fertility and your future.

AMH Ovarian Reserve Test Kits

What Is Ovarian Reserve?

Ovarian reserve is the official term for your egg count. Egg count decreases with age, and fertility decreases with it. Most women only remain fertile through their 20s and 30s, while some women continue to demonstrate strong ovarian reserve even into their 40s.

The biological clock of ovarian reserve can also be influenced by medical conditions and environmental factors, so it’s unique to each woman. This is why it’s so important for women to understand and identify their ovarian reserve before infertility becomes a problem. The more you know, the easier it is to make informed choices that support your family planning wishes.

Chart: A Woman’s Egg Quantity Declines As She Ages

Understanding Your Ovarian Reserve: AMH Testing and Why It Matters

If you’ve been scouring Google for articles about fertility, you’ve undoubtedly stumbled upon articles describing follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) or estradiol (E2) and their influence on your fertility. While it’s true that FSH and E2 are essential components of your fertility, they’re not the only (or best!) way to test your ovarian reserve.

Anti‐Müllerian hormone (AMH) is a lesser-known but indispensable tool for measuring ovarian reserve and helping women predict their fertility.

What is AMH?

Anti‐Müllerian hormone is a protein produced by cells in the ovaries. Every ovarian follicle in your ovaries contains one single egg. The more ovarian follicles you have, the more AMH your ovaries can produce. This means the follicle count, egg count, and AMH levels are closely correlated.

Chart: Follicles in the Ovaries Compared to a Woman’s Age

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276943/figure/F2/

As your ovarian follicles and egg count diminish, so do your AMH levels. Given its high sensitivity to changes in egg count caused by age, AMH has emerged as a superior test of ovarian reserve.

Using AMH to Measure Fertility

Not only is AMH a more reliable indicator of ovarian reserve, but it’s also easier to test. Some hormones like FSH and E2 vary based on menstrual cycle progress, but AMH can be tested with a blood sample any time during the menstrual cycle. AH is also easier to test than FSH and E2 because it can be accurately tested while taking any method of birth control.

This direct method of fertility testing uses the amount of AMH in your blood to estimate the remaining follicles in your ovaries. Since every follicle produces one egg, AMH levels offer a clear and accurate estimate of your remaining egg supply.

A rapidly growing body of research proves that a simple AMH test, supplemented by standard FSH and E2 tests, can provide women with precise fertility evaluations.

What Other Tests Are Used to Evaluate Fertility?

AMH home testing kits are an easy, convenient, and affordable way to screen your reproductive age, but keep in mind that fertility consultation and additional hormone tests may be needed to better understand potential causes of infertility. Two of the most important additional hormones to consider when assessing your fertility are FSH and E2.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone Test (FSH)

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is the hormone that produces and matures eggs in the ovaries, which makes it critical for pregnancy. If FSH levels are too low, eggs can’t fully develop and ovulation, fertilization, and pregnancy can’t occur.

An FSH test should be performed on the third day of your period, also known as “Day 3 Testing”. If the test is done before or after this time, the results may not be accurate due to fluctuating levels of FSH throughout menstruation.

You might assume that you want your FSH levels to be high, but they should actually be low in your Day 3 Testing. Low FSH levels on the third day of your cycle show that your ovaries don’t have to work overtime to produce mature eggs. If your FSH levels are too high at this point, it indicates a follicle insufficiency that forces FSH to work too hard.

Estradiol Test (E2)

E2 is FHS’s partner in crime. It maintains the reproductive system like an air traffic controller by triggering the maturation of follicles, egg release, and uterine thickening after fertilization. Just like FSH, E2 should be measured on day 3 of your cycle and show low levels. High E2 levels can suppress FSH production, but interferes with follicle and egg growth.

Since FSH and E2 work hand-in-hand, they need to be measured together. Testing only one or the other can’t give you a full picture of the hormone interactions influencing your fertility.

How Much Do You Know About Your Fertility?

Your fertility determines your body’s ability to get pregnant and have children without the help of reproductive technologies or medical interventions. The female body is naturally designed to carefully produce hormones that support fertility and encourage pregnancy.

Ovulation, Menstruation, and Fertility

Females enter their reproductive years when they begin menstruation thanks to significant hormonal changes. At the start of each menstruation cycle, a hormone in the pituitary gland of the brain tells follicles on the ovaries to grow faster. This hormone is called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

As FSH stimulates follicle growth during the menstrual cycle, one follicle reaches maturity and triggers the process of ovulation by releasing an egg. That egg travels down the fallopian tube. If it’s met by sperm and becomes fertilized and implanted in the lining of the uterus, then pregnancy occurs.

If the egg continues untouched, it eventually dissolves and other ovarian follicles naturally dissipate. As long as pregnancy doesn’t occur, the menstruation cycle continues when the endometrium sheds itself and menstrual flow occurs for 3-7 days.

This entire process relies upon a delicate balance between hormone production and egg health. By learning more about your ovarian reserve with an AMH at-home test, you can gain a clear picture of your current fertility window and assess your chances of getting pregnant.

The Bottom Line: Be Proactive About Your Fertility

Here at BodyHealthIQ, we believe that restrictive insurance coverage and high cost fertility consultations shouldn’t stand in your way of assessing your fertility. You deserve to take control of your future by taking a snapshot of your egg quantity with a simple at-home AMH test.

Our cutting-edge at-home AMH test uses proven blood testing technology to gain insight into your ovarian reserve with nothing more than a dried blood spot from your finger. No complications, no discomfort, and total results- that’s exactly how fertility testing should be!