General Fertility Questions
- What is Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH)?
AMH or Anti-Müllerian hormone is a natural hormone produced in women’s ovaries by the follicles (the structures that contain the eggs).
The AMH test is used to assess a woman’s ovarian reserve (“OR”), which indicates how many viable eggs a woman has left in her ovaries. The AMH test can be done at any time during the menstrual cycle. The reference value (or the level considered “normal”) varies from lab to lab so it can be difficult to compare results from one lab to another.
AMH declines with age. However, a high AMH could suggest Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in some patients.
- What is a normal follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) level for IVF?
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is an important hormone made in your pituitary gland. The FSH test checks if your pituitary gland produces too much or too little FSH, or if you have any potential issues with your ovaries or testicles.
For women, FSH levels naturally fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, so the test is normally undertaken around day 3 of the cycle.
In general, the normal result for women between the first day of the period and ovulation is between 1.4 and 9.9 IU/mL. For men, the normal results are between 1.4 and 15.5 IU/mL.
The FSH test is usually done in combination with anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicle count (AFC) tests because normal FSH on its own cannot accurately predict whether your ovaries will produce suitable eggs in response to stimulation.
- Can you increase your AMH levels?
AMH levels reflect a woman’s ovarian reserve (egg supply), which decreases with age. This means a low AMH level is reflective of low ovarian reserve.
Some studies suggest that vitamin D and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation may increase AMH levels. However, there is not enough evidence to show that these are effective at increasing chances of conceiving, as ovarian reserve will still naturally decrease with age regardless of whether a woman has a high AMH level. It is important to note that while a high ovarian reserve may indicate a higher chance of pregnancy, a low AMH level does not always mean that a woman will not be able to conceive naturally.
Women should discuss with their doctor before taking any supplementation to address any fertility issues.
Egg and Sperm Donation Questions
- Can using donor eggs in fertility treatment increase the chances of success?
Birth rates decline with age when patients use their own eggs. This is because both the ovarian reserve (egg supply) and the quality of the eggs decrease with age.
Egg donors are on average 5 years younger (30.2 years) than IVF patients (35.6 years). Therefore, using donor eggs from younger women can help improve your chances of successful fertility treatment. This is particularly true for patients who are over 40 years of age.
Fertility Treatment Questions
Including treatment information, technologies and medication
- What are short and long protocols in IVF?
A number of methods (also called “protocols”) can be used to stimulate a woman’s ovaries to produce eggs. The most common are long protocol IVF and short protocol IVF. Each approach involves scans to monitor how the follicles are developing. The aim is to collect as many healthy eggs, ready for fertilisation.
- Does brown spotting/bleeding after a positive pregnancy test mean there is a problem?
Minor spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy (before 12 weeks) is common and, in most cases, it is not a cause for concern. There are a few harmless reasons for minor spotting, such as cervical or vaginal irritation (which may be caused by vaginal pessaries), minor cuts during sexual intercourse, a pap smear test or a vaginal ultrasound. It may also be due to the process of the placenta burrowing into small blood vessels in the womb - a healthy process which is needed for the placenta and foetus to survive and grow.
Most women who experience spotting or light bleeding during early pregnancy have normal pregnancies and deliveries. Women should immediately speak to a doctor in cases where they notice the bleeding getting heavier, or if they experience other additional symptoms such as cramping, fever or a backache.
- How should I store Meriofert?
Meriofert is a hormonal drug used in fertility treatments, such as IVF, to stimulate ovaries to produce more follicles, and therefore more eggs. It contains purified Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinising Hormone (LH) and Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG), which are naturally occurring hormones in women.
Meriofert should be stored between 3°C and 25°C, so depending on where you live, it can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Keep Meriofert in its packet so it is protected from light, and avoid storing it where it may be exposed to heat or moisture.