Thursday, 17 April 2014

Blood AMH – a test that every young woman should undergo

Many physicians warn that though you may be enjoying good health, feeling healthy and being healthy are not always the same thing. Like most of the adults, you may be undergoing a regular annual medical examination to assure good health. One of the most common tests performed under the routine is Cholesterol, to calculate the risk of heart disease.

However, this test might be beneficial for men and women above 40 but for a woman in her late 20s, it is a futile to undergo this test. Generally, the chances of women at this age to be diagnosed with a heart disease are slim. 

So, instead of undergoing worthless tests, it is better to prioritize your test chart according to the need. Customizing the tests according to the age would help you find out the exact problem, rather than tests which are generally not recommended at your age.  

So, it is more valuable for women to undergo blood AMH level (a test to determine ovarian reserve) to check the quality and quantity of eggs she is left with. This is because, ovarian reserve declines with age and it is irreversible to achieve back the eggs that a woman has already lost during menstrual cycle. This is test is valuable for women who want to postpone child birth due to career or some other constraints. The AMH level testing provides a good index of ovarian function.

There is multiplicity of reasons why new age women tend to postpone childbearing. It might be because of career or the quest to find the right partner. While this can be a good sign towards social evolution, where women are taking independent decisions, it might be a biological hitch for some. 

Sometimes, in the race of life, women tend to forget that they might have extended the age of getting married but their ovary never stops to grow old. It constantly loses eggs and the quality and quantity declines tremendously with age. When a women strides towards her mid-30s and she might be satisfied to have a settled life, she already has reduced chances of pregnancy.  Much to her dismay, she might fail to achieve pregnancy without medical assistance.

Sometimes, women are baffled to hear this news! They are shocked to know about their ovarian functioning despite having regular cycles. They regret to have had known about such a situation much earlier to have avoided complexities at the young age.

So, if you are in your late 20s and have decided not to start family any time soon then it is recommended for you to undergo blood AMH level testing annually. It is an inexpensive test and demands no extra testing but blood test. This test would provide you a rough idea about ovarian reserve, specifically the quality and quantity of eggs you are left with. Therefore, how much time you have to actually start planning your family.

This test is recommended because a number of women experience infertility and sometimes it is too late to know about it. However, it is important to know that for a woman with unproven infertility with a low AMH level might conceive and have baby without any complications, while AMH level testing in an infertile woman is completely different. 

The test is useful to know about the declining ovarian reserve, so that your doctor can warn you before it is too late. If a woman knows about her eggs beforehand, then it would be much easier for her to determine the right age to plan her family. With the data about AMH level, it will be easy for even your doctor to counsel you about making the right choice.

With AMH levels, women in their late 20s, who have enough time to have babies, can make well-informed decision. If a woman is young and has low AMH level, then she can decide whether she has to have baby or may freeze her eggs when their quality is good, so that the frozen eggs can be used when she wants to get pregnant few years later.

It is recommended for young women to undergo blood AMH level test annually to avoid facing unforeseen results in future. All the best!

Dr Neeraj Pahlajani

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