Sign She's Pregnant? It's in the Hormones

Anti-Mullerian Hormone levels can show likelihood of getting pregnant successfully

(RxWiki News) When a woman decides to have a baby, knowing her cycle and the hormones that follow can help.

As a woman's levels of anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) go up, her chances of becoming pregnant also increase, according to a recently published study.

The findings are the first to show a link between the hormone and the number of successful pregnancies. The presence of AMH can help women who have trouble getting pregnant and their doctors track the optimal time to conceive.

"Trouble getting pregnant? Ask your doctor about IVF."

AMH is created by follicles in a woman's ovaries. Women with fewer follicles have lower levels of the hormone and produce fewer eggs.

The aim of the study, led by Thomas Brodin, MD, from the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health at Uppsala University and the Carl von Linné Clinic in Sweden, was to see whether AMH levels were linked with a woman's chances of getting pregnant and having a baby.

Between April 2008 and June 2011, about 890 women who averaged 36 years of age underwent more than 1,200 in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures during the study.

In this procedure, a woman's egg and a sperm cell are fertilized together in a laboratory dish and placed back into the woman's uterus. The procedure can help women become pregnant.

Researchers measured the level of AMH participants had and compared results across age groups. Researchers also looked at the number of successful pregnancies and live births.

As the level of AMH increased, the chances of having a live birth also increased after having an IVF injection, researchers found.

Specifically, the chance of having a live birth was about 11 percent successful with AMH levels of less than 1 nanogram per milliliter. As the hormone level increased to more than 2.9 nanograms per milliliter, the chance of having a live birth increased to 31 percent.

The odds of getting pregnant through IVF didn't change with women's age or the number of eggs released by their ovaries.

In addition, women who had polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), in which the level of female sex hormones is imbalanced, were likelier to get pregnant after having the IVF procedure.

The presence of the hormone can help show when women are more likely to conceive, researchers said.

"This study demonstrates that AMH, besides being a valuable ovarian reserve marker when designing ovarian stimulation, is positively associated with pregnancy and live-birth rates in a log-linear manner and thus may serve as a prognostic factor of IVF-intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment success," researchers wrote in their report.

"Treatment outcome was superior among women with the highest AMH levels, including those who fulfilled the criteria of polycystic ovaries and PCOS."

The researchers noted that because they stimulated the ovaries of some of the patients and some of the patients had more than one IVF procedure, this may have affected the results.

However, researchers said that multiple procedures might show women's ability to reproduce more readily.

The study will be published in the March 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The Carl von Linné Clinic, and the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health and the Family Planning Fund at Uppsala University in Sweden supported the study. No conflicts of interest were reported.

Review Date: 
February 13, 2013