Fertility Hormone Detected in Human Hair Samples

A new study suggests that the fertility hormone measurement can be taken precisely from the human hair specimen, giving rise to prospect of a “non-invasive test of ovarian reserve”, states a study published in European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology this Sunday. The study found that the fertility hormone called “anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH)” is presumed to be a fundamental marker for assessing the underlying mechanism, explaining how female respond towards the fertility treatment.

The group of small cells, surrounding the egg, produces AMH hormone while developing inside the female ovary. The AMH hormone has been determined in ovarian cancer as well, previously. However, no precise correlation was found between AMH levels and its reliability to the chance of live birth, nor it the forecasting of menopause time was proved. Yet the measurement of optimum value of AMH hormone has become an intrinsic marker in assessing how a patient will respond to ovarian stimulation for certain treatments such as IVF, as well as it may explain the range of responses including a normal responder, poor responder with few eggs, or over-responder with many eggs and a risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, OHSS.

Previously, the AMH hormone is calibrated and measured from a blood serum sample drawn intravenously. The values determined are measurements that are for a short moment in time and are relatively invasive to complete. However, in the present new study,  at the online Annual Meeting of ESHRE, authors of the study explained that this AMH fertility hormone, previously detected from blood sample serum, can now be tested and measured from the human hair. The new quantification method of AMH collection is less invasive and is stated to be “more appropriate representation of hormone levels” than from an “acute” source like serum.

The study presented the research findings this week in a poster from PhD student named Sarthak Sawarkar who has been working in the laboratory of Professor Manel Lopez-Bejar in Barcelona, with collaborators from MedAnswers Inc in the USA.

In the ongoing study, which continues, results were determined from an estimated 152 women from whom hair and blood samples were routinely collected during hospital visits. The AMH measured in serum from the same subjects was used to provide a control. Further, an ultrasound count of developing follicles in the ovary (AFC) was also determined as a further measure of ovarian reserve.

The study reported that the scientists successfully determined the “Biologically relevant” AMH levels in the hair samples. It was found that these levels gradually decline with increasing age in females. It supports the presumption of declining fertility ovarian reserve with age, now confirms the decline in AMH levels as well.

Source: Fertility Network UK

Among the other advantages of a hair test, the authors note that hormone levels are assessed non-invasively, which reduces testing stress and offers a less expensive assay. The lead author of the study, Mr. Sawarjar, says, “Finally, as hair offers a look at the long-term accumulation of hormones, this measurement may allow a better understanding of an individual’s hormone levels — unlike blood-based assays, which can only measure the hormone at the moment of the testing.”

Source: Vivere

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