Low AMH to get pregnant, acupuncture can help. Research update
Low AMH levels can indicate a reduction in the number of eggs in a woman's ovaries, which can affect her ability to conceive. Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is produced in small ovarian follicles, and its levels can be used to estimate the size of the remaining egg supply, also known as the "ovarian reserve". While AMH levels can provide information about the quantity of eggs, they do not indicate their quality, which is also essential for conception.
As women age, the number and quality of their eggs decrease, leading to a reduced chance of a mature and healthy egg being released and fertilized. This can increase the likelihood of abnormal fertilization and miscarriage. However, recent research has suggested that acupuncture can help improve ovarian function by increasing AMH levels and the Antral Follicle Count (AFC) in women with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI).
Acupuncture has been used to treat infertility by improving blood circulation to help follicles develop and increasing the chances of good quality eggs for conception. It can also improve the endometrium, promote ovulation, and reduce pain during egg retrieval. In combination with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), acupuncture has been shown to improve fertilization rates and reduce uterine artery blood flow impedance in infertile women.
Poor ovarian response (POR) is a predictor of the outcome of IVF. An abnormal ovarian reserve test, such as an AFC of less than 5-7 follicles or AMH of less than 0.5-1.1 ng/ml, indicates poor ovarian response. However, acupuncture can increase clinical pregnancy rates, AMH levels, and the number of retrieved oocytes compared to control groups.
Infertility affects approximately one in six couples worldwide, and IVF is a commonly used treatment method. The success rate of IVF increases with a good response to controlled ovarian stimulation (COS), which can be affected by acupuncture. Acupuncture can improve ovarian function, which can lead to a better response to COS and increase the chances of success with IVF.
In conclusion, acupuncture can help improve the chances of conception by increasing AMH levels and improving ovarian function. While low AMH levels may indicate a reduced ovarian reserve, acupuncture can increase the Antral Follicle Count and improve the quality of eggs, leading to a higher chance of successful conception. Acupuncture can also improve the success rate of IVF by improving ovarian function and response to controlled ovarian stimulation.
Case report: Low AMH, conceived naturally with the help of acupuncture
When you receive the news that your AMH levels are low and that it may not be possible to conceive with your own eggs, it can be disheartening. However, having a low AMH value does not necessarily mean that natural conception is out of the question. It may require more effort on your part than for others. There is a story of a woman who was able to conceive naturally despite having low AMH levels. Although the story is simple, it highlights the determination and hard work she put in under the pressure of uncertainty and limited time.
The 39 years old woman had been trying to conceive for a year without success. After undergoing fertility tests, it was discovered that her AMH levels were extremely low and almost immeasurable. Despite this, she was determined to conceive naturally. She paid close attention to her diet, ensuring that she ate healthily and exercised moderately to maintain good health. By chance, she discovered that acupuncture could aid in fertility and so she began weekly treatments. Through her dedication and belief in herself, she was able to conceive naturally after just six months of acupuncture treatments.
Kallio S et al Fertil Steril (2013) 99:1305-10
Bentzen JG et al Reprod Biomed Online (2012) 25: 612-9
Dolleman M et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2013) 98:1946-53
Yang Fu et al Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2022; 2022: 9053930.
Soobin Jang et al Integr Med Res. 2020 Jun; 9(2): 100395.