1 February 2010
Ovarian Reserve Test Available to all QFG Patients
Queensland Fertility Group is pleased to be able to offer our patients access to a NEW test that can help measure a woman's egg reserve. This test for fertility will provide an insight into just how quickly a woman's biological clock is ticking.
Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH) Testing
As the age of first conception increases, more women are seeking reassurance about their reproductive potential. Until recently FSH measurement was the principal biochemical marker available but was only of limited value. Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH), produced by the ovaries now appears to be a more sensitive predictor of ovarian reserve.
What is AMH?
Anti Mullerian Hormone or AMH is a hormone secreted by very early ovarian follicles. A growing body of research has demonstrated that measuring the concentration of AMH in a woman's blood has been shown to be a good predictor of a woman's egg reserve.
A low AMH level indicates a low egg reserve and high levels of AMH can be indicative of many eggs or disorders like polycystic ovaries.
AMH can be used in conjunction with specialised ultrasound to give the most accurate picture possible of a woman's future fertility.
A very important advantage is that the AMH level remains constant or only fluctuates mildly, throughout the menstrual cycle, so that AMH can be measured at any time during a cycle, and the test can also be taken while a woman is using the oral contraceptive pill.
Who should be tested?
Women considering IVF and other fertility treatments as AMH levels are seen as a good predictor of IVF success. Low levels may indicate a possible poor response to the drugs used in IVF. AMH also identifies women at risk of OHSS.
- Younger women considering delaying child-bearing
- The AMH level is a good indicator of approaching menopause
- Women who have had chemotherapy or ovarian surgery and want to find out what effect it has had on their future fertility
How an AMH test works
Measurement of the serum AMH level requires a single 5ml blood collection at any time of a menstrual cycle. Tests are run regularly and results are forwarded to the ordering doctor within seven days.
Cost of an AMH test
The fee for testing AMH is $75. This fee is not claimable from Medicare. A collection fee may also be charged if no other Medicare claimable tests are required.
Treatment implications of a low serum AMH
It is important to remember that the AMH concentration ONLY reflects the number of eggs and gives no information about the quality of the eggs. Indeed, there are several reported cases of women with undetectable levels of AMH who have achieved a natural or IVF pregnancy.
Counselling of patients with low levels of AMH must therefore include discussion about the uncertainty of conception. Explanation of the significance of AMH is best done by discussing it with your doctor or fertility specialist.
However, it seems very likely that a low AMH concentration gives advance warning of a premature decline in fertility. Women with this finding, who are having difficulty conceiving, should, therefore, be considering whether to move onto more advanced fertility treatment protocols at an earlier stage than they otherwise would do.
Read more about QFG's AMH Test