AMH, FSH and Low Ovarian Reserve – Let’s Take a Reality Check
They don’t need to be. These laboratory test results regarding the potential of your ovaries can help to decide the best natural therapy for you.
In addition, there is a lot of mis-information about Anti Mϋllerian Hormone (AMH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – which we’re going to clear up, right now.
A Quick Overview
Each month, during a woman’s natural reproductive cycle, a single follicle is selected out of a group of potential follicles.
That single follicle reaches maturity and releases (ovulates) one egg.
During many fertility treatments, medications are given to stimulate the ovaries to release more than one follicle.
Physicians perform tests to predict if a woman will have a good response to fertility treatment. If it’s predicted that she is not likely to produce multiple eggs and have a low chance of success with ‘stimulated’ IVF, then this treatment option could be deferred. Other options would then be considered, such as unstimulated / Natural Cycle IVF (NC-IVF).
Women who have a good response to fertility medications are said to have ‘normal’ ovarian reserve.
Women who have a poor response are said to have diminished ovarian reserve, which means that they are not likely to product the optimum number of eggs during stimulated IVF. They are told they have few eggs left and their best option is to use an egg donor.
The Good News
Did you know if you’ve been told that you have diminished ovarian reserve,
you still may conceive with:
- An unstimulated/Natural Cycle IVF (NC-IVF) (no drugs)
- An organized Natural Conception Plan designed to rejuvenation reproductive function
What is Anti Mϋllerian Hormone?
The follicles in your ovary each contain an egg but the follicles themselves contain granulosa cells. These cells produce AMH. So the more follicles you have – the more AMH will be produced and the higher your AMH level will be.
AMH is easy to test for. It simply requires a blood test which may be performed at any time during your menstrual cycle.
The interpretation of the level is not so straightforward.
Interpretation of AMH Level
Western medicine can only tell you whether your AMH level is low, normal or high.
The level is measured to –
• Help Doctors to predict how responsive your ovaries might be to a cycle of IVF.
• Help them to work out the doses of medication required.
No universal reference ranges have been determined for AMH levels so this means that every clinic uses their own values.
An assay system is the name for a method used to measure the presence, amount or activity of a substance. Assay systems for AMH are not all the same which makes the test results difficult to standardize.
The Secret Meaning of AMH Levels – Newest Research
Knowing your AMH level is low is NOT an accurate predictor of the likelihood of achieving pregnancy or having a live birth.
It IS however a very good indicator to the doctor of how many drugs your body can tolerate during ART procedures.
It is NOT a measure of how many eggs you have left.
It is only a measure of how many potential eggs (follicles) are currently being recruited by the ovaries.
The issue then becomes how to nourish the internal environment so the ovaries will recruit more healthy follicles.
That is not something the doctor can do. Only you can make that kind of change
The most important predictor of whether you will be able to conceive or deliver a healthy baby is the quality of your eggs. Western medicine is still debating whether AMH is associated with egg quality.
This means that AMH levels should not be the only factor in your treatment strategy.
We have successfully helped hundreds of women with low AMH.
Chinese Medicine’s View of the Low AMH and High FSH Fixation
1. Chinese Medicine is not dependant on statistics. We view, assess and help every woman individually because we understand that every person is unique.
2. We understand that tests are simply a single snapshot of where you were at that time.
We don’t see it as defining your future because we know from extensive experience that given time and the right inputs, your snapshot can be totally changed.
3. Unlike Western medicine, we don’t get hung up on the meaning of values created in a laboratory. Instead of letting results give meaning to a numerical value, we see them in terms of where your energy was and then we focus on how we are going to change it for the better.
My FSH went from 30 to 2.5! Pregnant in 4 months:
Claudine had been trying to get pregnant for years.
Her follicle reserve (AMH) was low, her FSH was high, she was a poor responder, and her only option was egg donor.
“My FSH has dropped way down! 30 to 2.5! After leaving the doctor’s office this morning, I was so excited this evening instead of calling my husband. Radiant Wonder was the first number I dialed.”
Writing this to you I’m hoping it can help someone out there with no hope that is experiencing whatever issue. I have been trying to get pregnant for many, many years, and have not been successful. These numbers make me hope.
I was put on clomid with no luck until my doctor said for me to go see an infertility specialist, which I did. According to lab results, my FSH level was at 30, so he told me sorry there was nothing they could do. I either keep trying on my own or consider an egg donor.
I knew for sure that the egg donor part was not something I would consider for personal reasons. Yes I cried and could not sleep that night.
I was desperate. I had always believed in herbal medicine so I said to myself maybe there could be something else I could try. Feeling very lost late at night, I went on the internet. I looked at everything I could find. I kept going back to your Radiant Wonder site. There was something really unique about that site. Not only what is it all about my issues, but it was not expensive and I enjoyed the testimonies of other women like me. And there was something about the site that made me feel like it would be ok to call.
I had nothing to lose so I made that phone call, got Lisa one of the herbalists to call me back. No sales pitch, just sincere and thoughtful advice and information. I did not wait, started on a program put together just for me. I did the exercises, added the dietary advice, took the herbs, everything she advised me to do. Three months later my FSH level dropped to 2.5, yes ladies 2.5 not 25 but 2.5!
My body had to get through some strange adjustments, but my Radiant Wonder herbalist was on the phone with me guiding me through. For example I bled more than expected during the first month and no period during the 2nd and a regular period the 3rd.
But I could feel the positive changes happening inside. I literally felt the energy going through my reproductive system. It was amazing. I am not pregnant yet, but I feel healthy, my skin is radiant, I sleep like a baby, have lots of energy. Love you all at Radiant Wonder, may God continue o bless you as you continue to work wonders for his children.”
(NOTE: Claudine did get pregnant about 4 months later and successfully delivered a healthy baby boy.)
Are Your Eggs Truly Gone or Just Asleep?
Western medicine comes to the conclusion that your eggs are finished and gone.
A low AMH test is not a death knell for your dream of having a family. It simply means you need to alter your treatment strategy.
What if a large number of your follicles (and therefore also your granulosa cells) are just dormant?
If the internal environment needed for follicles to develop is not optimal, your body might logically want to preserve and protect its ovarian reserve. The reserve might be hibernating until the right environment is available for the eggs to develop.
This is a hypothesis – but practitioners of Eastern Medicine see it as a very logical conclusion and we have evidence that the AMH Level may reflect the available reserve, not the real reserve.
We have worked with hundreds of women who were told that their eggs were gone. We know that they are not.
If the real reserve is truly low…
How have we been able to help so many women to produce more eggs and better quality eggs by simply teaching them to take the right herbal formulas?
If the real reserve is truly low…
Why do we see AMH levels change from 0.1 to 3.0 or higher within as little as 3-4 months?
If the real reserve is truly low…
How do so many of the women who we have helped get pregnant naturally or – after taking a 6 month hiatus from IVF – go back for success with more eggs and better quality eggs ready to retrieve?
It sounds like a mystery but it isn’t. Just like many things in life – it is easy when you know how.
And we know how. It’s time to give your eggs a wakeup call.
How We Know That Chinese Medicine Can Help You
Chinese medicine does not accept this view.
We see your mind/body and spirit as a total system which is totally able to adapt. We know that when your reproductive system is given the right help, it has an astounding ability to reach its highest potential.
We see the hormonal fluid in your ovaries as ‘essence’.
Where This Fits in the Bigger Picture
We view FSH as ‘heat’. The essence of your ovaries is activated by the heat of FSH so that it can reach its highest potential. You can see this happening in your blood levels of estradiol.
We call estradiol ‘yin energy’. Yin energy affects internal environment; the substance of your body.
If the essence of the ovaries is enough – it doesn’t take much heat to stimulate your ovaries.
If the essence of the ovaries is weak due to –
• Excess or long periods of stress
• Not recovering sufficiently from that stress
• Your follicles not receiving adequate or appropriate nourishment
• Wear and tear due to the general demands of life
– then a lot more heat is needed for that stimulation to take place.
Can You Have Too Much Heat?
Western medicine sees the optimal level of FSH as lower than 10. We have helped women who had much higher FSH that that to conceive healthy babies – naturally.
We did that by reducing their heat and maximizing their amount of essence. Once the correct balance is achieved, the normal functioning FSH can get to work and activate healthy follicles – which gives rise to a greater quantity of good quality eggs.
And ultimately – a much higher chance of holding your own baby in your arms.
It’s All about Maximizing Potential
Your ovaries and the follicles that are inside them are a basic potential.
We start off with a huge potential that goes right back to before we are born.
During the fetal development of a female, a pool of follicles is created. By the time we are born, we have almost a million of them. By the time we start our first period, that number is down to 500,000 and when we get nearer to perimenopause, there are roughly 10,000
Remember that a follicle is only potential – and that potential is affected by its internal environment.
The ‘internal environment’ means the conditions and factors within the follicle that influence how it acts. The internal environment responds to messages that result from how our body interprets its external environment.
Age: Let us reassure you that the quality of the egg is determined by the quality of the internal environment of your body – not by your chronological age.
My story was a long one – lots of stress, etc. But the worst was the time when my doctor told me I had no more eggs left. My FSH was 98. My AMH was 0.4.
The doctor didn’t even look me in the eye. She just told me to face the facts. I was 45 and in menopause. There was no hope for me. This was from a woman who had been so hopeful for me only a year before. And now she didn’t even meet my eye. I’ll never forget that moment. And the devastation I felt.
My husband is a college professor. He knew someone in his department, someone you had helped. So he found your website and called and talked with someone. He wanted to check you out first. I wouldn’t be surprised if you remember his call. He is pretty thorough in his questioning. He set me up for a free consultation. I mailed in a form with email. Then Julie called me. It was not what I expected. I expected a big sales pitch and a push to buy and nothing real.
Julie spent a lot of time thoroughly going over the information I had sent, listening, and then explaining things. I took a lot of notes. She taught me why it was logical to have hope. She never rushed me or pushed me. She is not only very wise, but extremely knowledgeable. What she said seemed to make sense. I wasn’t sure if it would work for me but I was willing to try. What other choice did I have? Maybe if I just got my hormones in line I could try IVF again.
I spent about $150 a month on the herbal formulas. The followup calls were free. I saw changes the first month. Sexual fluids and cervical mucus I hadn’t seen in years. My libido was returning. We were both happy about that. Then I started feeling a little bubbly movement around my ovaries. Don’t know exactly how to describe it, but it felt like it was waking up down there. I ovulated again (hadn’t done that for a long time naturally. My cycle started becoming regular again. It was good, but it felt a little surreal.
Nothing happened all at once. No big fireworks, just something here, something there. I did my part with the food and exercises and taking the herbal formulas regularly. I was told it would be best if I called every 2-3 weeks to stay in touch. I have to say when I first heard that it seemed perhaps not necessary. But I think it actually made a big difference. Sometimes I talked with Julie, sometimes Amanda. I loved them both. The difference was that every time I called I learned something new, and it helped them to know when to change things up. Also their office manager, Marysa was really helpful and very kind.
Then it happened. I was pregnant. At 46. And we have a beautiful son who just had his second birthday. I still think of everyone at Radiant Wonder often. I have been meaning to write this for years. So I am finally going to get it off my bucket list.
Pregnant over 40 that was the mantra I kept thinking in those days. Well, we should start a new club. Pregnant over 45! I can be the first member.
When the internal environment of your whole body changes for the better, it follows that your ovaries change for the better. When your ovaries improve, so do your follicles and so do your eggs.
We know how to enhance your whole internal environment. You need –
• More energy
• Better circulation and
• The highest quality nourishment
We can teach you how to enhance your internal environment. And you’ll feel the benefits right away because your body is in a constant state of renewal.
• If your AMH level is high you are given low doses of medication
• If your AMH is low you are given higher doses of medication.
So, the treatment is hormones…or hormones. The only question is how much.
• Your follicles can release more eggs
• Those eggs can develop properly
How to Tend Your Reproductive Fire
She sees the process in terms of building a fire in your fireplace at home, where –
• FSH is the flames of the fire
• Your uterus is the fireplace
• LH is the opening to the chimney
• Your ovaries are the fuel for the fire
To build a successful fire, you need
• Sufficient wood or coal (measured by estradiol)
• Some kind of damper to stop the fire from getting out of control (Inhibin B)
• Lighter fuel to get the fire started (AMH)
One more tool is available to you from reproductive technology and that is more fire. But more fire isn’t the best answer because adding more to a fire that’s already there can stop things from burning on their own.
Imagine that you are trying to light a fire in your grate at home. You sometimes need to get more wood or coal, add more inflammable fluid or reduce the breeze blowing down the chimney that keeps putting those precious sparks out.
It takes patience and gentle nurturing to bring that tiny spark to life.