About 60% of the clients that come through my doors have low Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) levels. It's produced by the follicles in the ovaries and gives us an indication of egg reserves. However, it has NO bearing on egg quality or whether you can conceive naturally or not. Fertility clinics put a lot of emphasis on AMH and the reason behind this is that in an IVF context, AMH is important as it can indicate how many eggs may be collected. Yet, its significance ends there. Even with "lower-than-average" AMH levels, numerous natural approaches can positively impact your overall fertility health and egg quality. Here are 5 key things to consider:
1. Nourish Your Body with Nutrient-Dense Foods
Include colourful fruits and vegetables (berries, leafy greens, bell peppers), whole grains, and healthy fats (e.g., avocado, olive oil) to combat oxidative stress and improve egg quality. Opt for lean sources like fish, poultry, legumes, and eggs to supply crucial amino acids for egg development and follicular maturation. Don't forget the healthy fats - Omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts can reduce inflammation and promote hormonal balance. Ensure sufficient folate (leafy greens, fortified grains), vitamin D (sun exposure, supplements), iron (beans, lentils, red meat), and vitamins B6 and B12 (meat, seafood, legumes) for egg health and hormonal regulation.
2. Balance Your Blood Sugar
Limit refined carbohydrates and sugary treats - High glycemic index (GI) foods can lead to blood sugar spikes and hormone imbalances, impacting egg quality. Choose low GI carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits with lower sugar content to maintain stable blood sugar levels and support hormonal health. Include protein and healthy fats with every meal. This helps to slow down digestion and stabilise blood sugar, creating a more favourable environment for egg development.
3. Manage Stress and Improve Sleep
Chronic stress can negatively impact hormones & egg quality. Prioritise stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Sleep deprivation can disrupt hormones & affect egg maturation. Implement a relaxing bedtime routine & create a sleep-conducive environment.
4. Support Liver Detoxification
The liver plays a crucial role in hormone metabolism and detoxification. Consume cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale etc), turmeric, and green tea to support liver function and eliminate excess hormones. Meanwhile limit exposure to environmental toxins. Reduce intake of processed foods, choose organic produce when possible, and avoid unnecessary chemicals and plastics.
5. Consider The Why?
AMH levels naturally peak around 25 and decline with age. However, low for age AMH could be due to a myriad of reasons including endometriosis, autoimmune conditions, and chronic illness which can impact ovarian function and AMH levels. From a nutrition perspective, areas we focus on include reducing inflammation, balancing hormones, supporting digestion/absorption of nutrients, optimising gut health and the vaginal microbiome.
Remember that while low AMH can be a concern, it doesn't always translate to fertility difficulties. A holistic approach incorporating dietary adjustments, stress management, and healthy lifestyle habits can significantly improve your overall fertility potential.
Remember to consult your doctor, healthcare provider or registered nutritionist for personalised guidance and support.