AMH Under 1

My AMH level is 0.59. It is under 1. It is not good.

An AMH level under one indicates diminished ovarian reserve. My doctor said he would expect to see this kind of result in a woman over 40 years old.

I am 32.

He also said that while he can’t predict I’ll start menopause when I’m 40, it could mean that. This isn’t just about my desire to have another child, this has lasting health consequences.

When I google “AMH under 1” I find a lot of stuff. All of it is depressing. Some of it is terrifying. Women who only retrieve one or two eggs during IVF. Young women–in their twenties–being advised to use donor eggs immediately and not even try with their own eggs.

How did I get here? How is this my life?

When we started testing I was sure there would be no issues. And now Mi.Vida is waiting for a urology appointment to see if he can improve his lackluster sperm counts (and motility) and I am making an appointment to see an RE to discuss whether IUI is even still an option for me.

I didn’t even think we’d need IUI, not really. I thought maybe a round or two of Clomid would be all it took. I thought this was bad luck, that it would work itself out. IUI was the final frontier in my mind; a plan B but an unlikely one.

And now IUI might not even be advisable. Now I am someone with diminished ovarian reserve, who–if she can find a way to afford IVF–will probably only get one or two eggs in the attempt, not even enough to freeze for a FET.

I am 32 years old. I conceived my daughter after 11 cycles (and one ectopic pregnancy) only three years ago. How has this happened?

Who am I? How is this my life?

23 responses

  1. Oh my gosh,I am stunned. Esperanza, my heart is breaking for you. Did your doctor give you any options for improving that number? Is he certain this is an accurate representation or is additional testing necessary? I hope that you and Mi Vida find a way to take comfort in one another and that your RE can bring some renewed hope. They are the experts in this area – hopefully they will know more than the first doctor. Sending love and light.

  2. That is really sucky news. I think you’ll hear lots of stories about women with low AMH and DOR conceiving, so I’ll skip those (I know of a lady who has 3 kids, all IVF babies, with low AMH and DOR). I just wanted to say that it does really, really suck. Try to remember that you did conceive your daughter… and that only took one egg and one sperm… Try googling pregnant with only a few eggs retrieved, and you’ll see that it does happen.

    Oh, and my DH had some low numbers with his sample the first time. Before you do anything drastic, I’d ask the RE or urologist to repeat the SA with your DH in situ (at the office, with not travel). When my DH did that, they asked him to be a donor since his results were so good. I don’t trust the results that have to travel. And there are some meds he can take to improve if really necessary

  3. Well shit. I have never paid much attention to the female side of things since our problem was (is) male factor, so I don’t have anything to share in that regard. But I do want you to know that I’m thinking of you and I know that this is a really big blow. I’m really sorry 😦

  4. Hey there, long time reader of your blog, but I think this is my first comment. I’m so sorry to hear this. I know this is so freaking hard! And it just sucks.

    I’m a fellow infertile, at 39, with no children, my husband and I have been TTC for 5 years… 4 IUI’s, 4 IVF’s, major surgery to remove a large fibriod, 3 miscarriages and gearing up for a FET tomorrow.

    I wanted to say that I realize and know how much you want a sibling for your daughter. But just wanted to share with you that my sister is 6 years older than me and we have always been very very close. She was the cool older sister who took me and my friends to the mall and who gave me money in college for beer! It is has beem such a blessing to me to be an aunt to my nephew and niece (ages 13 and 11) While going through my infertility treatments I’m so happy that my sister isn’t my same age! It would be so hard if she was having her babies now, also I feel lucky that my niece and nephew are older, their “baby” history is now a more distant memory for me, I can’t imagine going through infertility with adorable toddlers in my life. If anything seeing how HARD it is to parent preteens I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I may not be a mom and that I will survive and maybe one of the blessings is that I won’t have to parent a teenager in my 50’s.

    So sorry for rambling…I hope you get everything YOU want in your journey and please know your writing on this blog helps me so much! I hope now that you have these results you can plan for your future.

  5. I am really sorry to hear this news. I have low AMH (also under 1) and was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve. It was a huge wake up call for us after TTC for over a year with one unassisted pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. I hope you find an RE you are comfortable with. We loved our RE, but in our case, we decided not to pursue treatment. It really is better to have all the information, but that doesn’t make it suck any less. Big hugs to you.

  6. So sorry, abiding with you.

    I have to agree with Jen, my brother and I are 4 years apart and there’s nothing wrong with a gap like that, I promise you. It may be different than you were hoping your family to look but it does not in any way preclude close sibling relationships, any more than close ages causes close sibling relationships. With Isa so challenging at this age, it may well be for the best (trying to be optimistic, not dismissive!) I remember really looking forward to my brother and actually being able to help my mom some. Isa will be out of diapers, so you can reuse that lovely stash without needing to buy a lot of new ones. And not a small concern – not having two kids in college at the same time lessens that financial burden tremendously. While there are many, many things about your situation right now that suck terribly, please try to let go of this “anticipatory loss” of having kids 4 years apart or more, if just to lighten your load. That spacing will be fine, and wonderful, and a different but really good sort of family.

  7. I just wanted to write and tell you I’m in the middle of my first IVF. I’m 35 with an AMH of 0.37. It originally looked like I might only have 3 mature eggs to retrieve but last Thursday at my retrieval they got 8 eggs. 6 were mature and all of them fertilized. I’ll find out on Tuesday how many made it to day 5. I understand how upset you are. My husband and I almost decided not to try IVF when we found out how low my AMH number was. I had a nice long conversation with my RE about it, though and realized that the reason I hired him was because he’s the expert. He knows more than the internet with it’s scary stories. I trusted him and he has gotten us this far.
    This is all a leap of faith. I wish you all the best!

  8. So frustrating! I just keep coming back to the unfairness of the insurance issue. I remember when we did our testing, when we were trying for J, I almost wanted them to find something wrong, because then there would be something to fix. But that’s because I knew insurance would pay. I just feel like, if life were fair, you’d be saying “okay, now that I know the problem, I can work on addressing it” instead of being where you are now.

    I don’t know what to tell you. Yes, like a couple others said, a larger age difference can work well (in my 2 weeks’ experience in that area). But that’s assuming you know you’ll have another child. I don’t know. I just really hope there is a way you can fund IVF, or whatever you need to do.


  9. “How did I get here? How is this my life?” Questions so many of us have asked at some stage or another. I don’t know that there’s an answer.

    Sending hugs, and love and good support vibes across the ocean.

  10. I’m here for you and am thinking of you-how this must seem unreal. Like everyone else, I do wish I knew what to say to ease your worry, but I know there is no such words. I know you and I know that you’ll find a way through this-around this…you always do. You are a strong girl.

  11. How I feel about the one child/sibling issue, since you know we are staring down the reality of having one child ourselves, is this.

    No matter what happens, Charlie, Lucky, and I are a family. In the here and now. And eventually, someday, I will find peace.

    Abiding with you during this time, sending you light and love, and giving you a virtual hug as tightly as I can.


  12. I am so so sorry. I’m sending you giant hugs. I know this isn’t good news at all. Remember we are more than just our numbers, though this one is a big blow. I remember so clearly the AplusB receive with her AMH levels – and quickly afterwards, she got pregnant with her twins via IUI.

    Abiding with you, K> Sending giant hugs. xoxo

  13. I’m so sorry about this number. Damn numbers. As someone who has been struggling with DOR for so long, I know the devastating feeling that comes along with it, but I also know numbers only mean so much and go so far….I recommend 2 books by Julia Indichova: Inconceivable and The Fertile Female….She has suffered from secondary infertility due to high FSH and has much wisdom and support to share…Sending you lots of positive energy and light for the next steps in your journey.


  14. My AMH was 0.46 (or was it 0.49?) in May 2009. I started TTC in January 2010, had 2 unsuccessful Clomid cycles, then a miscarriage with my third IUI with Gonal-F and Femara. And then, my 4th IUI was a success in August of 2010 (also with Gonal-F and Femara), and I have a 20 month old to prove it. This was well over a year after my AMH of 0.46, so who knows what it was then.

    I should mention that by the time I got my BFP, I had been getting weekly acupuncture sessions for a year and had taken several cycles of Chinese herbs during the weeks between my miscarriage and my next IUI.

    I know every case is different, just thought a good success story might brighten your day.

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