Compound linked to IVF success

Women with high blood concentrations of anti-Müllerian hormone were more likely to conceive and give birth after in vitro fertilization

Blood levels of a compound called anti-Müllerian hormone might identify women who have a good chance of having a baby if they use in vitro fertilization, or IVF.  A study of 892 women who underwent IVF in Sweden finds that, compared with women who had low levels of anti-Müllerian hormone, those with the highest levels of the compound were two and a half times as likely to get pregnant and have a live birth.  

Studies in animals had suggested that the hormone may be a marker of how many eggs a woman is carrying. But the new study found that high hormone levels were closely tied to better birth prospects, even after accounting for egg quantity. That suggests that hormone levels may also reflect egg quality, the authors say. After accounting for age and number of eggs, women with high hormone levels had a 29 percent likelihood of giving birth in each attempt with IVF; women with low levels had a 13 percent chance.

The results also hint that women with polycystic ovary syndrome — a condition linked to infertility and irregular ovulation — might actually be good IVF candidates because they tend to have high levels of anti-Müllerian hormone. Physician Thomas Brodin and colleagues at Uppsala University report the findings in the March Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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