The latest discovery in the fertility field may come as a bit of a surprise to some, but it makes perfect sense when considering a woman’s underlying biology. Swedish researchers at Uppsala’s Carl von Linné Clinic have discovered that hormone levels can help predict the possible success of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Specifically, women with higher levels of Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) are more likely to become pregnant from IVF.
The researchers also found that this increased chance of success supersedes other indicators, including the woman’s age. As surprising as this discovery is, it actually falls in line with other knowledge researchers have regarding AMF and pregnancy. Where is the connection?
AMH Levels Forecast the Number of Eggs Remaining in the Ovaries
AMH is produced by the ovaries. Previous research has already shown that women with higher levels of AMH have more eggs remaining than those with lower levels. It isn’t just the sheer number, though. More eggs mean that a higher percentage of those eggs are healthy and able to develop into viable embryos.
A Positive for Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
The other connection that was made through this research gives hope to women struggling with infertility due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Women with PCOS generally have higher AMH levels to begin with. This connection seems to indicate that IVF is the preferred treatment for these women not only because of the physical changes in the uterus caused by PCOS, but also because of the increased levels of AMH.
The study involved 892 women, and took place from 2008 to 2011. A total of 1,230 IVF cycles among these women were observed and recorded.
As to the actual levels of AMH, the optimum area appears to lie between 2.94 ng/ml and 5 ng/ml. The most marked increase in successful IVF treatments occurred at the low end of this spectrum, while the high end marks the point at which the benefit from high AMH seems to plateau.
Also of note: while lower levels of AMH don’t provide the same benefit to prospective mothers struggling with fertility, researchers found no indication of a specific level that precluded conception via IVF. While this research creates hope for women with high levels of AMH, it should in no way discourage those with lower levels.
If you have struggled to conceive, IVF is one of many available avenues. To learn more about what may be causing your fertility issues and what can be done to correct them, contact the dedicated staff at Gainesville’s All About Women.