You might be freaking out by your ever rolling biological digits when you’re focusing on becoming pregnant, but perhaps letting go of that and shifting your attention to your ovarian age is where you need to let your head go.
As there’s a rapid decline in the amount of valuable eggs women have after 35, the AMH test is a way to figure out how many eggs a woman has left. AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone and it’s a blood test which measures the amount of AMH in a woman’s blood stream. This hormone is produced by specific cells, called Granulosa cells, which surround each and every egg in a woman’s ovary. So obviously, the more eggs, the more granulosa cells. And the more granulosa cells, the more AMH produced. As you can imagine this feedback is a quantitative guide to work out a woman’s ovarian “age”. It also gives women the insight to figure out when to commence their attempts at falling pregnant if the results show they still have a chance.
Basically, your AMH levels starts high, when you’re at your most fertile age and as you get older, declines as your ovarian reserve does.
I had an AMH test when I was 39 and found myself to be a newly single sobbing mess. I toddled off to my local GP and requested a bunch of blood tests as well as the AMH. It was perhaps something I should have done while in my relationship but because I thought I had access to sperm on tap, it never crossed my mind. These tests cost around AU$100 but varies from state to state. For the piece of mind, it was well worth the dollars.
The results came back a few days later and gave me the reassurance I had a little more time up my sleeve. According to Malpani Infertility Clinic, I was in good shape. with a pmol/L of 29. Sure I just scraped in to be in the optimal group but I was thrilled I was 29 again and relieved my window had not only not closed but was still at the top of their game.
Ovarian Fertility Potential pmol/L ng/mL
Optimal Fertility 28.6 – 48.5 4.0 – 6.8
Satisfactory Fertility 15.7 – 28.6 2.2 – 4.0
Low Fertility 2.2 – 15.7 0.3 – 2.2
Very Low / undetectable 0.0 – 2.2 0.0 – 0.3
High Level > 48.5 > 6.8
It’s important to know that AMH levels do not vary with the menstrual cycle and can be measured independently of the day of the menstrual cycle.
Once I got my results, this didn’t mean I just got back to living as I was. Sure, I’m a healthy person but there is always room for more self-improvement. From that moment on I became even more diligent about what I was putting in and on my body. Rather than buying kombucha, I started making my own. I made coconut kefir, added more vitamins and even cut out whole wheat bread which is one of my greatest loves.
These small changes were super easy to do and were just the beginning of more that I gradually introduced week after week. Before long my diet had shifted and I was in a much more fertile state. Rather than focusing on the looming 4-0, I thought of myself as a viable and youthful, twenty-nine year old who from then on really looked after my eggs keeping them as nourished as possible.