Can AMH Levels Increase?

AMH, or Anti-Müllerian Hormone, is a hormone produced by cells in developing egg sacs (follicles) in the ovaries. AMH levels are often measured as part of fertility assessments, particularly in women.

AMH levels are considered a marker of ovarian reserve, which refers to the number and quality of a woman’s remaining eggs. Higher AMH levels generally indicate a higher ovarian reserve, while lower levels may suggest a decreased ovarian reserve. AMH levels are typically measured through a blood test. 

The measurement of AMH levels is commonly used in fertility assessments, especially for women who are considering fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). It can provide information about a woman’s potential response to ovarian stimulation.

I often get asked, in my Fertility Acupuncture clinic, if AMH levels can increase and the short answer is yes. Let me explain…

While we know that AMH levels do slowly decrease as we age, there are other factors that can prematurely reduce AMH levels, such as inflammation caused by endometriosis digestive disorders and other health conditions. infections, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, anaemia, poor blood sugar control, poor sleep, autoimmune issues and more. if these areas can be identified and improved then AMH levels can increase. 

A big part of the work I do with clients is to work out whether there are any factors like the ones listed above that could be negatively impacting AMH levels and the ovarian environment. Once we know what we are dealing with we can work on improving this area, which improves fertility outcomes and for those that need IVF a better response is noted. 

Often low AMH levels are stated as how close someone maybe to the menopause, but some people are shown to have low AMH for decades and still continue to have regular healthy menstrual cycles. For some they have a naturally low AMH and have no issues conceiving. Low AMH levels don’t automatically mean poorer egg quality.

AMH levels are typically measured through a blood test. Research has shown that AMH levels can half and double in a menstrual cycle so when comparing  your results make sure they have been taken at the same time in your cycle, I recommend day 2/3 for consistency, here is some research that shows that AMH can fluctuate within a menstrual cycle https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35778760/ *

From  the beginning of March I will have completed my medical phlebotomy training, which means I will be able to offer your hormone and health blood tests (including testing for your AMH levels) during your appointment, saving you from the dreaded finger prick blood tests or having to get down to your local hospital. 

If you would like to receive more support around your AMH levels or If you’re feeling lost on your fertility journey and want someone to put you back on track, come and see me for a fertility acupuncture consultation, I absolutely love helping clients become parents! 

If you would like to book a complimentary discovery call or skip straight to a consultation then please click here.

* Khodavirdilou, R., Pournaghi, M., Rastgar Rezaei, Y., Hajizadeh, K., Khodavirdilou, L., Javid, F., Hamdi, K., Shahnazi, M., Nouri, M., Fattahi, A., Beckmann, M. W., & Dittrich, R. (2022). Does Anti-Müllerian hormone vary during a menstrual cycle? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of ovarian research, 15(1), 78.

A new year signifies a fresh look on your fertility journey. Not all fertility consultations have to be the same, and here at At Source Acupuncture we offer a different approach. 

Anna offers a space where you are properly heard instead of being dismissed. Where you can receive logical answers to your fertility concerns backed up by research and in a way that you don’t need a medical degree to understand. 

When you come for a consultation with Anna you will feel like there is someone who understands your situation rather just feeling like another number in a larger fertility clinic.

For some of you a new year signifies another birthday and we know one of the biggest worries women have on their fertility journey is their age. 

Age is given as the biggest factor in a women’s ability to conceive but it’s not just your chronological age (how long you’ve existed) that counts. 

We know that fertility declines slowly as we age, however your biological age is also very important. This means the rate in which you are aging physically and it differs between people.

This means that to some extend it’s not just about how many birthdays you have had but your habits and environment through the years. This means that we have some control over the aging process and by looking after our bodies we can affect our biological age.

Biological age is affected by epigenetics which means how our behaviours and environment can change the way our genes work. 

Maintaining your health is important when aiming to slow down the decline of your fertility. This includes:

Eating healthy: A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can support overall health and hormone regulation. We recommend a Mediterranean diet as an ideal basis for receiving all of your nutrients. 

Regular Exercise: Regular exercise is really important to keep the body and mind healthy. Exercise around your Menstrual cycle which means doing more high intensity exercise near ovulation when you have an increase in oestrogen and testosterone and Choosing more restorative exercise such as yoga around your period when your hormones are at their lowest. Exercise until you feel energised not depleted.

Stopping Smoking: Women who smoke are twice as likely to be infertile as non-smokers. This is true if you are trying to become pregnant for the first time and if you have been pregnant before. Smoking can also affect the success rates of fertility treatment, such as IVF (In vitro fertilisation).

Reducing Alcohol Consumption: If you drink while trying to get pregnant, you may find it harder to conceive. You don’t need to drink large amounts of alcohol for this to happen. Even drinking between one and five alcoholic drinks per week can reduce your fertility.

Maintaining Healthy Sleep: Sleep is one of the foundations of good fertility. At night our endocrine system, which regulates our homes is actively producing hormones that are key in fertility such as oestrogen, progesterone, LH and FSH. 

If you’re feeling lost on your fertility journey and want someone to put you back on track, come and see me for a fertility acupuncture consultation, I absolutely love helping clients become parents! 

If you would like to book a complimentary discovery call or skip straight to a consultation then please click here.

As a specialist Fertility and Women’s Health acupuncturist, Anna’s focus is on supporting clients through fertility struggles and often sees these clients struggling emotionally around the Christmas period.

Navigating fertility issues during the Christmas period can be emotionally challenging, as this time of year often revolves around family, children, and celebrations. 

Here are some tips to help you cope with fertility challenges during the festive period:

Deciding who to work with on your fertility journey can be complex, there is so much advice online and many different avenues to pursue.

Often when I see clients for the first time they have had a multitude of blood tests which have been deemed ‘ok’ by their GP, they maybe waiting for a fertility referral or pursuing private treatment, however most have never had someone take the time to really explain what all these tests mean.

The majority of clients I see fall into suboptimal range which mean their results maybe be ‘passable’ for the NHS criteria but they certainly aren’t optimal for fertility, which mean crucial parts of their fertility jigsaw puzzle are left missing.  

During a Fertility Acupuncture consultation we take the time to go through each of your results and piece together what is impacting your fertility and then we take steps to explore and remedy.  This month alone our investigations have uncovered a hidden autoimmune issue just from thoroughly investigating a ‘passable’ thyroid result, and a suspected PCOS picture that presented as low progesterone.

Finding these issues and putting the steps in place for clients to get the treatment they need transforms their fertility journey and puts them one step closer to parenthood. 

Here is a review from a lovely client.

” I wish I had found you sooner, we have been trying to conceive for 7 years and were told IVF would be our only chance as my AMH was very low. This ended up not to be the case and I am now 13 weeks pregnant , Thank you!!

If you’re lost on your fertility journey and want someone to put you back on track come and see me for a fertility acupuncture consultation, I absolutely love helping clients become parents! 

If you would like to book a complimentary discovery call or skip straight to a consultation then please click here.

This month has seen an increase in clients with Endometriosis (or endo), so as a Fertility Acupuncture Practitioner, I wanted to raise the awareness for those TTC, as around 25% with unexplained infertility could have endo.

Endometriosis is a condition where cells similar to the ones in the lining of the uterus are found elsewhere in the body.

The most common sign that people are aware of is painful periods. The reason why it can be hard to get a diagnosis for endometriosis is that it often shows up in a more systemic way, meaning it’s not just localised pain but wider spread inflammation that can affect the whole body.

Some have no symptoms at all, and the only reason they get a diagnosis is because they have been struggling to conceive. 

Other symptoms of endometriosis include: 

The prevalence of endometriosis in women with infertility can be as high as 30-50%. Having excision (removal) is important but lifestyle and dietary factors also need to be established to help stop the endo from regrowing.

As endo is an oestrogen dependant condition (it grows with oestrogen) it’s important to help the body keep oestrogen levels in check. Ways to help this are ensuring you are having at least one bowel movement a day (this is how we rid ourselves of excess hormones) and supporting the livers detoxifying function.

Endometriosis is an inflammatory condition and is linked with a disordered immune system, if the immune system is imbalanced then patches of endometriosis won’t be cleared by the body which leads to an inflammatory response by the body in it’s attempts to rid of the body of cells that shouldn’t be there. 

Fertility Acupuncture can help to manage endometriosis and support your fertility by: 

If you’ve been TTC for a while and you suspect endometriosis, then ask you GP for a referral to a gynecologist to help investigate further. 

Did you know that we also offer Fertility Acupuncture support during the early stages of pregnancies?

I can’t thank Anna enough for her help both pre-pregnancy and during. Not only did acupuncture help to relieve stress and calm my body but I truly believe it helped to maintain my pregnancy in those early weeks, particularly during a few complications. It really helped to have a focus and to have someone to openly discuss things with. Anna is incredibly knowledgeable and made many recommendations of things to support my body and pregnancy. She was always on hand to offer guidance and answer any questions and really made me feel that whatever path my journey was going to take, things would be OK and I would reach my ultimate end goal or having a healthy baby. I now have an 8 week old baby boy! Thank you Anna for being a big part of my journey“. Jess.

I often hear my clients say – how will I know my fertility is improving, how will I know if I’m on the right track?

Blood tests are a great way to check improvements in hormone levels, but how you feel in yourself and your general health are key markers when it comes to fertility potential.

Fertility Acupuncture can help optimise your fertility potential and in clinic we look at the following areas as ways to assess if things are heading in the right direction:

Energy

You have more energy, that does not come from caffeine. If you are fuelling your body with the right nutrition and balancing your blood sugars you should see a consistent flow to your energy with no afternoon slumps. 

Sleep

You’re sleeping better – sleep is crucial to hormone health and fertility. If you’re getting to sleep easier, waking less throughout the night and waking up feeling more refreshed, we know this is going to have a positive impact on your fertility. 

Menstrual Health

Your Menstrual health is improving; this means your cycle is regular, your are not experiencing severe period or ovulation pain, PMS is minimal, your period flow is not clotty and there is no spotting before your period starts. Good menstrual health is one of the foundation of good fertility.

Digestion

Digestive issues resolve. Digestive issues can cause wider inflammation in the body which can affect your fertility. If you notice your digestion improving, you have less bloating and your bowels are regular (i.e. no constipation), this is a sure sign that your hormone health will be much improved and thus your fertility. 

By listening to your body and the subtle changes, you can see your fertility improving. Good general health reflects good fertility, the better you feel  physically and emotionally the more chance you are giving your body to conceive. 

Fertility Acupuncture is not just about acupuncture, it encompasses holistic fertility, which includes looking at a person as a whole, making sure that your nutrition, exercise, supplements, sleep, lifestyle is all working with you not against you to help you conceive. 

You can book a discovery call or consultation with At Source Acupuncture here.

Preparing your body for conception and pregnancy is an essential step in ensuring you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. We highly recommend Fertility Acupuncture as part of your preparation but also suggest the following too:

1. Before starting to conceive there are some blood tests that can help you understand your current fertility status these are:

FSH ( follicle stimulating hormone) – which simply tells us how hard your body is working to stimulate and grow your eggs each month.

LH ( lutinising hormone) – a higher reading, can indicate underlying health issues.

Oestrogen levels – this can help us understand how your body is processing oestrogen, which can affect your fertility.

Progesterone levels – levels needs to be checked 6-7 days after your ovulate (not just on day 21 unless you have ovulated on day 14). This tells us if you have ovulated and if your progesterone levels are high enough to sustain a pregnancy. 

2. Maintain a healthy diet: A Mediterranean diet is considered the most fertility friendly. This includes a well-balanced diet rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats which are crucial for both you and your future baby. Folic acid is particularly important in early pregnancy to help prevent birth defects, so consider taking a prenatal vitamin with folic acid before conception.

3. Stay physically active: Regular exercise can help improve your overall health, boost your mood, and prepare your body for pregnancy. Try and work out with, not against your menstrual cycle. This means doing higher strain exercise around ovulation when your oestrogen and testosterone levels are higher, as your will recover quicker, and doing more restorative exercise like yoga or walking, on and around your period. 

4. Manage your weight: Aim for a healthy weight before conceiving, as being either underweight or overweight can affect fertility and pregnancy outcomes.

5. Quit smoking and avoid alcohol and drugs: Smoking, alcohol, and recreational drugs can harm both fertility and the developing foetus. It’s best to stop using them well before conception.

6. Manage stress: High levels of stress can affect fertility and make it harder to conceive. Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as exercise, meditation, Fertility Acupuncture or engaging in activities you enjoy.

7. Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is crucial for your overall health and well-being, and it plays a role in fertility as well.

8. Know your menstrual cycle: Tracking your Menstrual cycle for example using a BBT (Basal Body temperature chart) can help you to identify for most fertile days to make the most out of each fertile window. It can also give insight into how your hormones working and can highlohht  some underlying health conditions for example thyroid function. 

9. Discuss medications: If you’re taking any prescription medications, talk to your healthcare provider about their safety during pregnancy. Some medications may need to be adjusted or changed before conception.

10. Check for infections: Screen for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as some infections can affect fertility and pregnancy. Here at our Fertility Acupuncture clinic, we recommend that you test your Vaginal Microbiome too, we can recommend a test provider for this and then help you to interpret your results. This is especially important if you have unexplained infertility and/or suffer recurrent UTI’s, thrush or any other vaginal health issues. 

11. Limit exposure to harmful substances: Minimise exposure to environmental toxins, such as plastics, hazardous chemicals, and certain cleaning agents that may be harmful to pregnancy.

12. Discuss family medical history: Talk to your healthcare provider about any family medical history that may impact your pregnancy or the baby’s health.

Remember that each person’s health and body are unique – if you would like further advise on the above and how Fertility Acupuncture can support you in preparing for conception and/or pregnancy then please book a discovery call here.

If you’re dreaming of starting a family, the emotional rollercoaster of trying to conceive can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve been trying for a while. When all medical tests come back normal, and the cause of fertility struggles remains elusive, it can be even more frustrating and disheartening. 

Unexplained infertility accounts for 1 in 4 cases of infertility. Dealing with infertility can take an enormous toll on one’s emotional well-being, and unexplained infertility adds an extra layer of complexity. While the term “unexplained” implies a lack of known causes, there are several factors that may contribute to unexplained fertility. It is important to remember that if you’ve been given this diagnosis, there is always a reason, yours just hasn’t been found yet.

These reasons could include:

Vaginal Health: The vaginal microbiome refers to the community of microorganisms, living in the vagina, these fluctuate throughout your cycle. Research has shown that the dominance of Lactobacillus in the vaginal microbiome plays a vital role in fertility outcomes. Women with a dominant Lactobacillus vaginal microbiota (≥ 90%) have a higher success rate in both term pregnancy and live birth rate.

Women that are low in lactobacillus have more chance of picking up a vaginal infection, as there is not enough of the good bacteria to fend off the bad. If there is an overload of pathogenic bacteria in the vagina we can only assume it must exist in the uterus, this can have a negative impact on fertility. Often there can be no signs or symptoms that this pathogenic bacteria is present. A vaginal microbiome test can be carried out to assess the different levels of bacteria present. 

Undiagnosed Conditions: Endometriosis is a condition where cells that make up the endometrial lining are found outside of the uterus, these bleed during a period just like the endometrial lining, this can cause severe pain. In the bodies attempt to get rid of these cells the immune system is called in releasing cytokines which are the bodies way of reacting to a perceived threat, this can be harmful for fertility. Endometriosis can cause wide spread inflammation harmful to our developing eggs. It is thought that undiagnosed endometriosis is responsible for up to 25% of unexplained infertility cases. Ways to diagnose endometriosis are through a laparoscopy or an MRI scan. 

Undiagnosed Thyroid Conditions: The thyroid play a large role in our fertility hormones and left untreated can cause fertility issues and raise the risk of miscarriage. Having a full thyroid test means not just testing your TSh levesl but also your T3, T4 and antibodies. 

Immunological Factors: it is possible that the immune system, specifically the immune response to sperm or embryos, may play a role in unexplained infertility. 

Hidden Male Factor Infertility: While the male partner’s semen analysis might appear normal, there could be undetected issues with sperm function, such as reduced sperm DNA integrity or impaired ability to fertilise an egg. It is important to fully investigate male fertility by having a DNA fragmentation test and a semen culture to rule out an infection that could be impacting fertility. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with unexplained infertility then keep pushing for answers. Often couples are told IVF is the only option, but without understanding and getting to the bottom of what is causing their fertility struggles, IVF is often unsuccessful. 

Other methods such as fertility acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements and mind-body techniques (meditation, yoga or mindfulness) can be really helpful for individuals or couples going through this process, and supporting you to find the answers you need. 

If you would like to find out more about fertility acupuncture and the services I can offer, then please book into a complimentary 15-minute consultation here.

Our Menstrual cycle is a reflection of health, by becoming aware of our own cycle and how our hormones are interacting we can not only increase our chances of conceiving but it can also increase our energy, improve sleep, decrease stress/anxiety and make you the best version of you! 

We’re all unique and so our menstrual cycles will vary slightly, but here are the foundations of a healthy Menstrual cycle:

1. Regular menstrual cycle: A regular menstrual cycle typically lasts between 21 and 35 days, with consistent cycle lengths and predictable bleeding patterns. This indicates that the hormonal processes involved in menstruation are functioning normally.

2. Normal duration and flow: A typical period should last approximately 3-5 days, with moderate flow. If you need to change your period product within 2 hours then your period is classed as heavy. There can often be an underlying cause to heavy periods, for example issues with thyroid function. A short bleed can mean that the endometrium lining has not been sufficiently shed.

3. Minimal pain and discomfort: While some mild cramping and discomfort during menstruation is common, severe pain, debilitating cramps, or other intense symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or dizziness may suggest an underlying issue and can be indicators of poor menstrual health.

4. Balanced hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle are normal, but extreme mood swings, severe depression, or intense irritability that significantly impacts daily life might suggest hormonal imbalances or other health concerns.

5. Absence of excessive clotting: Some clotting during menstruation is normal, but if you frequently pass large blood clots or experience heavy, prolonged bleeding, it could indicate an underlying issue that should be addressed.

6. No disruptive symptoms: Good menstrual health means that menstruation does not significantly disrupt your daily life. While some changes in energy levels and mood are expected, extreme fatigue, excessive bloating, or other symptoms that interfere with your daily activities might indicate a problem.

It’s important to note that menstrual health can vary among individuals, and what is considered normal can differ from person to person. If you have concerns about your menstrual health, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance and address any specific questions or issues you may have.

You can also contact At Source Acupuncture for more support through our Acupuncture services.

You can also read more about the menstrual cycle and acupuncture here.

At Source Acupuncture – Specialising in Fertility Acupuncture

If you’re struggling with menstrual health issues, PMS or heavy painful periods and would like a consultation to explore how Acupuncture can help, then Anna would be more than happy to help you. Anna has more than 12 years of experience in Women’s health, and has helped many couples on their fertility journey through acupuncture. If you’d like to find out more about how Anna can help, please book a free 15 minute discovery call where you can discuss your treatment needs.

Every month your body recruits hundreds of dormant follicles and starts the process of growing and maturing them. Over the course of 3-4 months these follicles will become more complex and will nurture the egg inside, ensuring they have all the nutrients needed to develop and reach maturation. Many of these dormant follicles won’t make it to be fully matured, they will stop developing due to being either structurally faulty or lacking the right nutrients or environment to thrive, this results in less follicles making it to the stage where they secrete Anti Mullerian hormone, known as AMH. Although we can’t roll back the years in terms of genetics, by improving the ovarian environment in which the eggs are grown, there is a potential for more follicles to make it to be fully matured which means an increase in AMH levels. AMH levels show how many follicles are currently reaching the developed stage, and not how many dormant follicles your body has, this means AMH levels can’t tell you exactly how many eggs you have left.

Having low AMH levels does not automatically mean your eggs are of poor quality. If you have been told your AMH levels are low for your age, then it’s worth investigating whether the environment your eggs are developing in are causing your AMH levels to drop prematurely.

Things That Can Negativity Affect the Ovarian Environment and Decrease AMH Levels

– Vitamin D deficiency
– Anaemia
– Inflammation
– Issues with the vaginal microbiome for example an infection
– Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease Recent infection or illness
– Smoking and vaping
– Poor gut health
– Poor sleep
– Poor regulation of blood sugar

At Source Acupuncture – Specialising in Fertility Acupuncture

If you’d like more information on how your AMH levels could be affecting your fertility, Anna would be more than happy to help. Anna has more than 12 years of experience in Women’s health, and has helped many couples on their fertility journey through acupuncture. If you’d like to find out more about how Anna can help, please book a free 15 minute discovery call where you can discuss your treatment needs.