What is AMH and why do egg donors have this test?
26th August 2013
Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) is a hormone produced by small follicles (sacs) in the ovarian tissue. It is a hormone secreted by the follicles in your ovaries which produce eggs, so the level of AMH in your blood is used to get a good idea of your ‘ovarian reserve’ or how many eggs you have and how the ovaries are functioning. As women get older, AMH levels decline, but when this happens depends very much on each individual.
When you come forward to donate eggs you will need to go through a series of tests. The clinic will check your AMH levels by doing a blood test, and this can be done at any time in your cycle. The AM hormone level is measured in picomoles per litre (pmol/l) of blood, with the normal range being 14.28 – 48.55 pmol/l. The clinic will explain what your results mean and you can always contact us to talk them through.
Women with normal levels of AMH tend to respond well to fertility drugs, but some donors might find that their results show a low AMH level and are advised not to continue with the process. This means that you have fewer eggs than expected, and gives an indication of how you are likely to respond to the medication during an egg donation cycle. It does not mean that your fertility is in question or that you cannot get pregnant and have children.
If you have a low AMH level as an egg donor, you would need to be on a high dosage of drugs and would be unlikely to produce many eggs, therefore it’s not fair to put you through a donation cycle.
With egg donation, each clinic sets a lower limit for AMH levels, to give couples who need help the very best chance of achieving a pregnancy. If a donor has low AMH levels, the likelihood of the recipients getting pregnant from egg donation is low. Not only is this heart breaking for the couple, but hard on you as an altruistic egg donor to go through this with a low outcome.
As we have said, if you come forward to be an egg donor only to discover that you have a low AMH level, this does not mean that you cannot conceive naturally and have children, just that you would not produce many eggs when taking ovarian stimulation drugs. If you have any questions about what any of the results might mean for you, the clinic will make sure you get answers, and we are here to support you too.
See more at: Fertility tests in egg donation