How to TEST your EGG quality and EGG RESERVE -☝️ ⬆️ Improve EGG QUALITY VIDEO SERIES ⬆️
Welcome to the third video in my mini series, dedicated to helping you improve your egg quality. In this video series, I’ve been talking about all the things that you need to do to increase your AMH, improve your ovarian reserve, and better the quality of your eggs.
This video series started two weeks ago, actually three, if you include my story of Hope. So we’ve been dedicating all of this time to talking about egg quality. And in case you missed those videos, then I want to make sure that you can go back and check those out, so I’m going to leave the direct link to those videos in the description below, and I’m going to leave them right here as well. But if you haven’t watched those videos yet, you don’t have to jump over and go there yet. Watch this video first, then you can go back and check those out. Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. You’ll catch right on up.
So one of the reasons why I created this video series is because so many of you are 35 or over, and improving your egg quality, increasing your AMH, this is key to getting pregnant and enhancing your fertility. And in addition to the two videos before and this video right now, I’ve got two more coming up, so make sure you tune in to watch all of these videos in this series. I promise you’re going to thank me later for it.
But before I get into the meat and all the details of this video, I want to make a quick announcement. All of the comments that you all have posted in all of my videos in this series have really inspired me. They’re inspirational, just how much you appreciate the information that I’m sharing. So I’m going to do something special for all of you in return. I’m going to create a free masterclass training for all of you on reproductive anti-aging. And I’m creating it for all of you, because I want to dive deeper and teach you more on this subject. That’s right, it’s free, but you do have to register to join me for that. And all you have to do to register is use the link in the description below.
For those of you who don’t know, I’m Dr. Marc Sklar, also known as the fertility expert. And welcome to Fertility TV, your YouTube channel dedicated to helping you get pregnant. I’ve been here working with couples from all over the world for the last 18 years through my online coaching programs, and right here at both of my clinics here in San Diego. And one of the topics that is often discussed, especially now in these last couple of years, is AMH and egg quality, which is why, or one of the reasons why I created this video series, because I wanted to dive deeper into it. So let’s get into it now.
So in the previous video, I talked about diet and we dove deeper into the different types of foods you should be thinking about and incorporating into your dietary plan. This video, I want to dive deeper into testing, and we’re going to go be on some of the superficial testing, but that’s exactly where I’m going to start. And actually, I’m going to take a step back before I talk about testing. I want to talk about age for just a moment.
So as we start to dive deeper into dealing with ovarian reserve, and egg quality, and AMH age is always part of the conversation. I spoke to somebody today who was being told that they needed to make certain decisions because of their age. She was 42. My answer to all of you with age is this, I’m not saying that age doesn’t matter. It is a factor. It is a variable that we need to take into account, but we need to step away from it. Age is the only thing you can’t change. It’s the only thing you have no control over. So why focus so much on age? There’s nothing you can do about it. What we can do is acknowledge our age, acknowledge that because of our age, we need to make some decisions, and we need to be proactive in our healthcare and in how we approach our fertility process and journey. But other than that, don’t let age overwhelm you and deter you from taking action and moving forward to treat your reproductive health.
So now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s dive deeper into testing. I did in one of the first videos actually talked a little bit about testing a little bit in small detail, but in this video, I do want to dive in a little bit more. So obviously, let’s talk about some of the foundational labs that we need to discuss. We need to discuss AMH, which we’ve been talking a lot about recently, so Anti-Mullerian Hormone. Now, theoretically, this hormone can be tested at any time of the cycle. But for those of you, and I’ve gotten lots of comments on all my social media platforms and right here on YouTube, but for those of you who have actually tested this at different times of your cycle, you know that this number can change and vary based on your cycle day.
So my preference, even though it’s not necessary, my preference is that you test your AMH on cycle day two, three, or four. That’s right, because as we talked about in the first video, it’s testing what your antral follicle count is in ovarian potential at this given cycle. So why test it later on? We want to know what this cycle is going to do for you, not what’s going to happen later. So my preference is to test it there in the beginning of your cycle. Again, you can test it at any other time of the cycle. I do find, clinically, that the most accurate time in reading for AMH is cycle day two, three, or four. And inline with that, if you’re going to be testing on cycle day two, three, or four, then we do need to dive into the other hormones that you should be testing as well.
So moving on from AMH, those other labs are going to be FSH, Follicle-Stimulating Hormone, LH, Luteinizing Hormone, and Estradiol, E2. Now, I have seen some comments from all of you, this is not all the labs that you should be doing, all the blood work you should be doing. These are just the ones that need to be done on cycle day two, three, or four. In addition to that, and if you’re already going on those days, you might as well run these also, Prolactin, Testosterone, free and total, DHEA, these are some foundational hormonal labs that you need to be testing that we want to get a good understanding for. So there are others as well, like we do need to look at your overall health, and we need to check vitamin D, and look at your iron levels, and so on. But this video is really focused on ovarian reserve and egg quality. And so, because of that, I’m focusing my discussion and my recommendations on those specific labs.
And I’m discussing other tests that you should be doing in just a moment that might influence your ovarian reserve, and egg quality, and AMH. And so that’s how I’m gearing this. I’m not saying that these are the only tests you should be running. I’m saying that these are the minimum tests that you should be running.
Now, why should you be testing all of these? Well, do you want to just be guessing and not knowing what your hormones are doing, knowing what your body is telling you, and what it needs? Do you just want to guess and walk around aimlessly, and trying to just figure things out and taking things just because it says, “This is good for egg quality, and that’s good for egg quality.” Or, do you want to know what your body needs? So that you’re taking specific things for your body and not just anybody, and based on random Google searches. We want to know what you need, which is why hormone testing is so important, which is why all testing is so important. We want to test and not guess. You don’t want to just be guessing what you need. You want to know what you need.
And I do understand that sometimes having lab tests done can be expensive and difficult, but I want to make it easier for you, so I’m going to give you some options for that later on as well. But I promise you, the money that you spend on testing right now will actually be well worthwhile for you for a couple of reasons. One, is it’s going to give you an understanding for what your body needs. Two, it’s going to give you some peace of mind. You may have thought that your hormones are doing one thing when they’re really doing something else. You have knowledge now, so it’s not wasted money. It’s well spent because you’re using it for a specific purpose. And this is going to, hopefully, speed up your fertility timeframe, make it faster to see results, because you’re going to have a focused plan and idea of how to move forward and what to do about it.
So now let’s say that you’ve moved forward, you’ve ordered the labs, and you’ve gotten the results back. And now you’re looking at a piece of paper with all these numbers, and you don’t know what they mean, and how to interpret them. Well, that’s what I want to give you a little bit more information about. For those of you who join one of my programs, we have created a spreadsheet that tells you the normal reference ranges, where we want things to be, and so that you could input your numbers and track all your numbers and results to make it easier to understand and to follow over time.
But in plain and simple terms, your AMH should be higher, and as you age, it goes down. But what’s considered normal? Well, if you’re 35 and younger, I’d like to see that be around two, maybe a little bit higher, maybe a smidge lower. As we cross that 35 threshold between 35 and 38, I’d like to see that between 1.5, 1.2, and 2. And as we get over 38 and above, then I really want to see that stay around one, or higher. As we get to 42, what’s considered normal is 0.8, or above. So we understand what our reference ranges for AMH look like.
Now, again, I don’t want you to stress about one number. I want you to have knowledge and understanding, and be able to use that knowledge to know how to move forward. Don’t let it put fear in you, let it put hope and possibility into you, hope and possibility that you can make the necessary changes to yield the results that you’re looking for. AMH can fluctuate just like many of your other hormones. And we want to nourish that as much as we can so we can see it grow, and increase.
As we move on, then FSH is the next crucial number. Now FSH, we want to see between five and 10. As it goes higher, it starts to show that your egg quality is a little bit more compromised. But FSH is very volatile. It can very much fluctuate from cycle to cycle, so we want to be mindful of that as well. It’s also kept in check by LH and Estradiol. LH and FSH should be roughly a one-to-one ratio in number, and then FSH and Estradiol work together to support each other. It’s a feedback loop. As your FSH rises, your Estradiol goes up just a little bit more to bring this back down. Ideally, we want to see your Estradial be between 70, and on the low end 30, maybe we can go as low as 20, but we’d like to see it somewhere in that range. It tells us that your Estrodiol is doing what it needs to do, and it’s keeping your FSH in balance, and that the number that we see for your FSH is a real number that we can trust.
Now, those are the key hormones. I’m not going to go into the other labs and their reference ranges. Again, if you join one of my programs, you get those reference ranges and you see all those numbers. In this video, we just don’t have time to do that. And I really want to keep it focused towards what you need to know and understand for your AMH egg quality in ovarian reserve. So those are the key hormones that we’re looking at.
Now, how can you get these things tested? So there’s a couple of options. First and foremost, obviously you can go to your REI, your Reproductive Endocrinologist, which is theoretically your IVF doctor. You can go to your OB GYN or your GP and ask for those labs. Now some of you might run into some roadblocks by asking for that through one of those physicians, because either they don’t see it’s necessary and don’t want to order it, or your insurance won’t cover it, so they don’t want to order it as well. Now, if you’re lucky enough to get one of them to order those labs, then awesome, great for you. But if not, don’t fret, don’t stress. You do have some options.
Now there are two at home test services that you can utilize to run these labs. That’s right. Two. Two of them can be used in the U.S. One of which, if you are abroad, so primarily in Europe, but I do think you can get in other countries as well. So the two companies are called, Let’sGetChecked and Modern Fertility. We’re going to leave a link for both of those in the description below to make it easier for you to find those and reference those should you want to. They both test slightly different things, so you’re going to want to look at each one, understand what information and tests and labs that they run, and which one’s going to be better suited for you.
Obviously, if you are outside of the United States, then you won’t be able to use Modern Fertility, and you’re really just going to be focusing on Let’sGetChecked, and that’s totally fine. Those tests come in different test kits, so you’re just going to click off the ones that you want, and move forward from there. If you’re ordering from Modern Fertility, it is just one test kit. It’s one test that they run and they include most of the things that I mentioned here. So those are the two primary tests. The beautiful thing about both of those is that they can be done at home. It’s a simple kit that they deliver to your house. You collect your blood by a finger prick, send it back, and then they deliver those results in an online portal that’s secure for you, that you can also then print out, and provide to your healthcare providers as needed.
So this is a really nice, easy, resourceful, and relatively inexpensive way to have your labs tested. I highly recommend it for those reasons, and because then you don’t have to worry about your insurance or which doctor is going to order those tests for you.
Now, I did mention earlier that I was going to talk about some other tests that I do think would be highly beneficial when we’re talking about ovarian reserve, and egg quality, and AMH. The first one is genetic testing, similar to 23andMe, although that’s not my favorite test, because I think the information they give you is not ideal, but essentially getting an understanding for what your genetic predisposition is, so that you know how to make certain choices when you’re moving forward with your reproductive decisions. I think this is a valuable test as we are discussing egg quality. It can look at mitochondrial function and your predisposition to have good mitochondrial function, or if you need to be aware of how you need to supplement additionally for that to really support good, healthy mitochondria function, and in turn egg quality. So that is the first test that I do think could be very beneficial.
The next one is a stool test. That’s right. You heard me correct. It is a stool test because digestive function is so important and valuable when we are talking about our overall health. And when your digestive function is compromised, your other systems get put on hold because of that, because that’s the most important. And I’ve talked about this over and over, I actually talked about this earlier today when I was on a coaching call with somebody, that your digestive health needs to be focus number, one and priority number one. Now all of you sitting there might say to me, “Well, how does this work? How does my digestive function really support my fertility and reproductive health?” Well, I do have some videos that I did talk about that in, so I’m not going to dive deeper into that, but I want to tell you a story more importantly, that I do think you can connect with and understand.
And this is just one example of many similar examples that I have seen over and over through the years. And this woman came in, had low AMH. It was 0.3. She says that I want to focus on egg quality. I went through two IVF cycles. They didn’t work out well, and I want to really improve that. And I got into her history and I understood very quickly that her digestive health was extremely compromised. So we ran a stool test. I convinced her to do this first. We ran a stool test and it was great because she was on pause. She was taking a break from all IVF right now. So we ran a stool test, and the results came back, and she had tons of bacteria and all sorts of unwanted little bugs that we needed to take care of.
And so we focused the first two and a half months of care on that alone. That’s all we did, was focused on her digestive health, clearing up these unwanted bacterias, restoring her healthy gut function and good probiotics. And she ran her tests, unbeknownst to me, she ran her AMH at the three-month mark, and her AMH had increased to over 0.9. So it went from 0.3 to over 0.9, almost one. All we did was focus on her digestive system and her gut health. This is just one example of why focusing on this is so important. Sometimes we need to focus on areas of our health that aren’t specifically associated with fertility to get the results that we’re looking for, and this is one of them.
And lastly, the other test that I do think is going to be valuable is toxin exposure, chemical exposure, environmental toxin exposure. So this is a urine test. It can give us a lot of really useful information because it shows you what you’ve been exposed to. And we all have been exposed to a lot of toxins over time. And with this, you can start to understand what those things are. It also should tell you where they come from. So you can start to look at what you need to clean up in your environment. And hopefully, you’ve already started to do that. And even though that takes a little bit of time to start to detox and address, it’s possible with the right lifestyle changes and the right plan, which is why that’s so important because all of these chemicals that we’re exposed to are endocrine disruptors. They disrupt our hormonal system, which is our endocrine system, and they can throw off our fertility and hormone balance. So this is really key as well.
Now all of these tests that I’ve just discussed are not typically tests that you can order on your own. You will need to work with a health care provider that can help guide you assess your situation, order the right tests, or hopefully order the test that you’re requesting, so they could also interpret it and create the right plan for you. So in addition to finding a healthcare provider that might be able to support you with those tests, my programs do that as well. When you join my Hope Fertility program, we help assess that situation, order those labs, and guide you through that by creating the right plan for you as well. And if that’s something that you’re interested in, you can use the link in the description below to apply.
Okay, that is it for this video. Hopefully you found it useful. If you did, I want to hear from you. Tell me which one of these tests really stood out for you, what information was new, and what are you going to start to look into? So comment below and let me know. By the way, when you do comment below, this helps this video be seen by more women and couples who need help, just like you. So you’re helping them by commenting below and letting me know what part of this video you found valuable.
I also want to remind you all that it’s because of you, that I got inspired and I’m creating a free master class training on reproductive anti-aging. That’s right. But you do need to register to join me for that. And one of the special things about this training is that, at the end of it, I’m going to do a free Q and A to answer your questions. But again, you’ve got to join me for that. So to do that, it’s really easy, just use the link in the description below to register for the free master class.
Now, once again, thank you so much for joining. If you liked this video, please give me a thumbs up. If you’re not already a subscriber to my YouTube channel, you should be hit that bell right there to get notified when I put out a new video, because next week, I’m putting out video number four in this mini series, and you’re not want to miss it because it’s going to be jam packed of great information to help move you forward on your fertility plan.
All right, everybody, until the next video, I want you all to stay safe, stay healthy. And most of all, that’s right, stay fertile.