What tests can tell me how many eggs I have?
There are a variety of tests that help your doctor work out how many eggs might be left in your ovaries. However there is still not one test that will tell you for certain. The tests currently available are:
- AMH blood test (done at anytime in your cycle)
- FSH and LH blood test (done in the first three days of your period)
- Oestradiol test (done in the first three days of your period)
- Inhibin B blood test (done at any time in your cycle)
- Ultrasound scan to measure the volume of your ovaries
- Ultrasound scan to count the antral follicles in your ovaries
What we do know is that a woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have, and slowly loses them, as she gets older.The number of eggs starts dropping from before birth. When there are no eggs left then the periods stop completely and this is called the menopause. Men are very different and are capable of growing new sperm most of the time.
What is the best test to tell me how many eggs I have?
From research around the world it seems like the AMH blood test is most accurate test to measure the number of eggs left in the ovaries.
AMH levels tell us whether a woman is likely to have more or less eggs than her age alone suggests. It is a good measure of a woman’s fertility potential. The blood AMH levels remain relatively stable (20–25 pmol/L) from 18 to 29 years of age. By 30 years of age, AMH levels start to drop rapidly, reaching an average of only 10 pmol/L by 37 years.
Other blood tests are less acurate at picking up this drop in egg levels, for example the older blood test FSH. Despite the 50% fall in AMH levels between 29 and 37 years of age, minimal changes in FSH levels will be picked up on testing.
What is AMH?
AMH (anti-mullerian hormone or Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS)) is a hormone produced by special cells that surround the eggs in the ovaries – the granulosa cells.
We introduced AMH into clinical practice in 2010, and have seen very accurate results, with AMH levels consistently predicting women with low egg levels and lower chances of pregnancy – often despite a young age and normal FSH levels. AMH can be done at any point in the menstrual cycle and is also not affected by hormone or drug medications.
How can I get an AMH blood test done?
All new patients are offered an AMH blood test in our fertility clinic. It is a simple blood test that does not require any special preparation (such as fasting or a certain time in your menstrual cycle). The results are available within a week.