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King's College London - Health: More than a medical matter

Hormone levels and IVF success, new links found

13 June 2011

By Kimberley Bryon-Dodd

Appeared in BioNews 611

US researchers have found a link between an ovarian hormone called anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and IVF success. The findings suggest AMH testing could help clinicians tailor doses of ovary-stimulating drugs to improve women's egg production and likelihood of pregnancy.

Study author Professor Geralyn Lambert-Messerlian said 'Clinicians can measure AMH before or during ovarian stimulation to counsel couples about their likelihood of success'.

Researchers from the Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island found women with low AMH levels in their blood produced fewer eggs for IVF treatment and also fell pregnant less often than women with higher levels of the hormone.

The AMH levels of 190 IVF patients were measured at the beginning and end of the course of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) treatment given to collect eggs for IVF.

The team counted the eggs harvested. They confirmed the women were pregnant after IVF with a blood test and an ultrasound. On average, women with lower levels of AMH (less than one nanogram per millilitre) at the beginning of FSH treatment provided only about six eggs while women with higher levels of AMH (greater than 3 nanograms per millilitre) provided about 20 eggs for IVF treatment.

Women with higher AMH levels were also more likely to be pregnant five or six weeks after IVF - 60.3 percent compared to 23.4 percent for women with low levels of AMH. The researchers hope that this information can - in the future - be used to tailor IVF treatment to improve a woman's chance of conceiving.

Dr Andrew Blazar, another author of the study: 'The main thrust of the paper is that you can do this test even after you have begun the preparations for initiating an IVF cycle, so it allows you to modify your treatment, at least in theory, so that your probability of success would be improved'.

Previous studies have not found a strong link between AMH levels and IVF success. Further studies are needed to confirm these results.

The study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Health Canal | 09 June 2011
News Track India | 10 June 2011
Smart Planet | 09 June 2011
American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology (AJOG) | 04 June 2011


19 March 2012 - by Dr Lamiya Mohiyiddeen and Luciano Nardo 
IVF is a complex treatment for infertility requiring costly drugs and carrying significant risk of complications. Part of the procedure aims to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs, and conventional methods include a combination of hormones to induce follicle growth, from which eggs are collected... [Read More]
15 August 2011 - by Victoria Kay 
There is insufficient evidence to suggest that taking aspirin during IVF increases a woman's chances of conceiving, according to the latest Cochrane Systematic Review... [Read More]

31 May 2011 - by Dr Rosie Morley 
Multiple genetic tests have been performed on a single embryo for almost the first time, according to US researchers. The researchers from John Hopkins School of Medicine say their technique for making copies of an embryo's DNA can improve IVF success rates... [Read More]
16 May 2011 - by Dr Rosie Morley 
A study of over 400,000 IVF treatment cycles in the UK has found a 'strong association' between the number of eggs retrieved prior to a woman undergoing IVF and live birth rate. The findings suggest that chances of a live birth increased with the number of eggs collected up to the number of 15, after which it began to decline.... [Read More]
09 May 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu 
A genetic predisposition towards autoimmune disease may be associated with lower pregnancy rates in IVF, a US study suggests. The findings offer a possible explanation for differences in IVF treatment outcomes between different ethnic groups.... [Read More]
07 March 2011 - by Leo Perfect 
Researchers from the University of Western Australia have published a study suggesting IVF effectiveness could be improved by undergoing more cycles.... [Read More]
28 February 2011 - by Dr Lucy Freem 
Stress levels are unlikely to affect whether or not a woman becomes pregnant following fertility treatment despite anecdotal reports, a review suggests.... [Read More]

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