ovarian reserveAnti-mullerian hormone (AMH) is commonly used in a clinical setting to measure fertility or ovarian reserve. While AMH is widely used and accepted as a viable marker, little research shows how lifestyle factors affect age-specific AMH levels. Researchers in The Netherlands recently completed and published a study on the topic. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The cross-sectional study included 2,320 women (premenopausal). AMH levels were tested in each woman and compared to expected levels based on age. Lifestyle factors played an important part in AMH level, including the use of oral contraception, irregular menstrual cycle, and pregnancy. Age of first period or first birth did not appear to affect AMH levels.

Conclusion: Women with irregular periods and women taking oral contraception measured AMH levels 11% lower than comparable women. Pregnancy dropped AMH levels 17% compared to levels measured in participants who were not pregnant. Researchers also noted lower AMH levels in women who smoke. It appears that lifestyle factors that caused lower AMH levels were reversible – changing the factor brought AMH levels back to age-specific expectations.

Source: Dólleman M, Verschuren WM, Eijkemans MJ, Dollé ME, Jansen EH, Broekmans FJ, van der Schouw YT. Reproductive and Lifestyle Determinants of Anti-Mullerian Hormone in a Large Population-based Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Mar 26.

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