Modern lifestyle, related stress at work and personal front especially in the urban set up have been deterrents for delayed family planning…writes Puja Gupta.
Recent studies have shown that the average age of planning the first births amongst new mothers is 31 years and it is 3-4 years more for their male counterparts. The bottom line is that millennial couples plan their pregnancy as per their career stability, which might result in a complex outcome and success rates of conceiving naturally or through assisted reproduction if required, says Dr. Aindri Sanyal, Clinical Director, Nova IVF Fertility.
“These potential intricacies can cause overwhelming emotional stress and anxiety for couples planning for parenthood at their later stages of lives. Lack of awareness and social stigma associated with fertility issues just adds up to further delay. Therefore, considering the present fast-paced life, it is important to know where to halt and respond to your biological clock, which can also help in chalking out assisted reproduction plans in case of any criticality,” she says.
It will always be advantageous to identify the fertile state of women on time to avoid any delay in conceiving. It is time for people to be aware about the various fertility tests and procedures so they can make a more informed decision. Nevertheless, the question remains how to identify the fertility stage on time amongst women? The answer lies within having an AMH test done, says Dr Sanyal. It is one of most simple, useful and non-invasive tests that women are still quite unaware about, she adds.
The expert explains it all about AMH, its benefits and the process.
What is AMH and how does it indicate your fertility?
AMH (Anti Mullerian Hormone) also known as Mullerian inhibiting hormone, which secretes from ovarian follicles. The level of AMH indicates the ovarian reserve of the woman (how many eggs she has) and is often a good estimator of the number of reproductive years she is left with.
Benefits of AMH Test for women who are planning or trying to conceive
An AMH Test is a simple blood test that can be done at any time of the menstrual cycle. Getting a test done will give women a clear picture of their reproductive health. Here are few of the reasons for considering the same:
To determine fertility treatments: If a couple is having problems in conceiving, cross-checking the AMH level is part of initial fertility tests conducted. AMH Scans when combined with other tests like Ultrasound of ovaries, semen analysis and other hormonal tests can help fertility clinics decide on the best treatment suited.
To plan the timeline of conceiving: Even if one is not having problems in conceiving, getting an AMH tested can still be useful as it helps in identifying one’s reproductive window. AMH indicates the ovarian reserve and understanding this can help in making choices about your reproductive goals and stay ahead of your biological clock.
To estimate response to IVF: According to several studies there is a positive correlation between AMH levels and the number of oocytes that are retrieved from women undergoing IVF treatments. Thus, AMH level can give insights to how a woman would respond to ovarian stimulation in IVF.
It is important to remember that an AMH test alone is not enough to determine your chances of getting pregnant, but it is a good indicator of your ovarian reserve. Keeping track of your AMH levels helps you know the cards you are holding with regards to your fertility. However, it is equally important to get the testes done from a good fertility clinic with a lab that adheres to clinical standards for this test.
If you have abnormal levels of AMH, do not get discouraged, you can still conceive with appropriate treatment from your doctor who can properly interpret the results and also provide required the guidance and support. Fertility issues and treatments are time sensitive that is the harsh reality. So, the earlier you check your AMH levels and ovarian reserve, the more time you will have to plan and decide. Making yourself aware about such different tests and options available is the first step towards good reproductive health and motherhood.