How Reliable Is Your AMH Result

Blogger / 1 August, 2017 / Ellie Thompson

How Reliable is Your AMH Result?

Today I got my second AMH result. I’ve been obsessing about it a fair bit since the blood test almost two weeks ago, but being largely pessimistic in general, it’s safe to say I’d put in some pretty good work at preparing myself for the very worst. Negative thinking – my expertise, I should be endorsed for it on Linkedin. I had to steady myself when the receptionist came back on the line after shuffling about at her desk. ‘Ah yes,’ she confirmed ‘Ellie Thompson – completely normal’.

‘Err – NORMAL? Hang on, what was the score?’ I asked incredulously.

‘20.6 pmol/litre, which is perfectly normal.’

I was stunned, elated, and then confused. ‘But, the previous test I had done elsewhere back in March confirmed my AMH was lower than normal for my age, at just 6.6?’

‘This is why we always insist on testing again.’ She reassured me. ‘We use a testing centre in Glasgow that have a bigger database to compare the result to.’

Thank you Scotland! Forty-seven pounds well spent.

It was just like A Level results day. That moment you get passed a white envelope with your exam results in and you’re expecting the worst, only to find TWO A’s and a B! They must have gotten my results confused with somebody else, surely? But nope – just when I thought all hope was lost and my mocks looked less than hopeful, straight outta the park! Back of the net! Etc. It seems I’m full of surprises.

It started to dawn on me just how many months since March I had been worrying and obsessing over an inaccurate AMH result. I was told at the time not to panic, but to consider starting private treatment soon as. The biological clock was ticking. Loudly. I was devastated at the time. I thought the menopause was about to knock on my door. I blamed my body for not working properly, I felt inadequate and at fault for not being able to fall pregnant. Those feelings have stayed with me up until this afternoon.

In light of this information today, (and let’s just assume for one minute that my ‘perfectly normal’ 20.6 is completely accurate) then all of that worry, and all of that turmoil was completely unnecessary. I need to call my best mates and my sister to tell them all thanks, but no thanks, I am probably not going to need their eggs. But seriously, if that really is the case, I’m more than a bit pissed off. Who knows what effect the news of an abnormal AMH result has had on me physically, how much stress and pressure has taken its toil on my body in that time? Perhaps having had today’s reading back in March, a positive mindset following the reassurance of my fertility may have led to us conceiving? Instead we’ve been bogged down by the huge pressure of time, and made certain choices in light of that. Remortgaging our home was one of those choices.

At an attempt to think technically, I wonder how on earth two different clinics with two different testing centres can produce such different results? One thing’s for sure, there’s a huge discrepancy between an AMH of 6.6 and an AMH of 20.6. So what the hell is going on?

We’re still on course with our plan for IVF, despite the good news. The fact remains we haven’t be able to make things work naturally; I may have a normal egg reserve, but at 35, it’s ageing, and we are where we are, and if we want the chance of having children – more than one in an ideal world (but that would be more than we could ever hope for!) we should probably crack on. I guess it’s something we’ll discuss tonight – although throwing caution to the wind and throwing all of our remortgage money on home refurbishments has crossed my mind, you should see the state of our windows…

With private clinics placing so much emphasis on AMH, who knows how many other women have been in my situation, or worse with lower scores? I’ve spent half an hour googling ‘AMH, reliability, private clinics’ and other key words in an attempt to find this topic discussed online, but really worryingly there seems to be nothing. Was this just a anomaly?

If it’s not, and inaccuracies between clinics is a real thing, who knows how many really important choices about treatment have been based on inaccurate results? Who knows how many women feel desperate, depressed, and under massive pressure to push forward with treatment, when perhaps they had more time than they were led to believe, and more of a reason to stay positive? How can it be that an AMH result that dictates so much of what happens next can be so inaccurate?

What’s your AMH? Are you sure?!


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