Recently there has been a cacophony of debate regarding the AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) test, which costs AUD$70 to measure the number of eggs you have left. Apparently this blood test can tell you how long left you have to fall pregnant. It has been deemed ‘inaccurate and misleading’ says leading IVF Specialist Dr Anne Clark of Fertility First, Sydney and is subsequently causing panic amongst women in their 30s and 40s.
Is it Gospel?
A recent British study, along with anecdotal evidence, had found that this test aka the Egg Timer Test, was unreliable and becoming discredited worldwide. ”I have big concerns about its accuracy,” says Dr Clark. ”I’m seeing a lot of women turning up at my clinic in an incredibly distressed state and highly depressed because they’ve been told the test showed they had no chance of having a baby. It’s wrong and misleading.”
With thousands of women rushing to take the test, many companies have entered the market, but Dr Kelton Tremellen, of Repromed Clinic in Adelaide, said they were not always reliable. ”[If it’s not done properly] one person’s blood test can be analysed and get two vastly different results,” he affirms. Results may be compromised, for example, if a woman had been on the pill. Dr Clark added that inaccurate readings also occurred when the blood was stored incorrectly or if the hormone was not analysed immediately. She is unsure of the value of the test, and prefers to do an astral follicle count with an ultrasound.
The Manchester study regarding the efficacy of the AMH test shockingly found significant variations of up to 60 per cent. Head researcher Dr Oybek Rustamov said the study, which looked at the results of 5000 women between 2008 and 2011, concluded the ”commercial AMH or Egg Timer Tests provide erroneous results”.
Dr Clark said research was increasingly discrediting and devaluing the test as a means of gauging a woman’s biological clock.
In The Clinic
I have seen many women with an AMH of 0.1 to 1, to conceive a healthy baby naturally, much to their delight. These women may not get many eggs in an IVF harvest, but the AMH cannot depict egg quality. Egg quality and not quantity is key. This is where having a balanced healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset will support your fertility.
By Ilana Sowter
January 10 2014