Tuesday, April 24, 2012

In which I pat myself (and you) on the back

Along this crazy, rollercoasterish journey, I've had theories up the wazoo. I'm constantly thinking about things, speculating away like mad and most of time I'm probably several miles off the mark.

But, just sometimes, I may be right, and it is so, so very sweet when I find out that it is so. A long time ago, when I first checked my AMH, it was low, resembling that of a woman almost a decade older.  But sometimes, I do believe the universe does look out for you, because, the day I had that blood draw, I also threw in a vitamin D test, based on an off-hand remark that the guy who was drawing that blood made. How is that for serendipity? Anyway, my vitamin D was low too, and I decided to look for a connection between the two and I found it, in a study which said the AMH gene can be 'turned on' by vitamin D, suggesting that the Vitamin D level could influence the AMH level. Based on that, I took massive doses of Vitamin D to correct my deficiency and retested both after 2-3 weeks.

I found that, coincidence or not, AMH went up 4-fold after vitamin D went up 4-fold. A few days ago, I got an email from a grad student who just had her paper accepted- its the first scientific confirmation of what I'd found, that if you are vitamin D low, your AMH is likely to be inaccurately low, and you can get a 'good' reading only after you get your vitamin D deficiency corrected.

The study is here


I remember how I felt when I was grappling with the possibility that based on my low AMH, I was a contender for diminished ovarian reserve. I think about what might have happened if that technician had not suggested the vitamin D test, or if I had not gone looking for a connection between the two things, and I have to shudder.  I don't think anybody else was going to put these 2 things together- I've been educating doctors about this, it has not been in the opposite direction, so really, I fixed the issue myself, and if I had not done it, nobody else would have.

It is National Infertility Awareness week. And I'm going to give myself a hand. I'm  also applauding the many, many, many women who have shown up on this blog doing Google searches for "AMH and Vitamin D." They fixed their own problem too. Most often, the only person we can rely on to save us is ourselves. And that is not just limited to doing a clever Google search- this is for anybody who has pulled themselves up by the bootstraps after their umpteenth BFN, or their miscarriage, or their stillbirth. We are all bloody amazing, and we need to take a moment to acknowledge that. 


  1. I wish I'd had my AMH checked before this pregnancy. It would have been a great reference point given that I was 1.0 back in 2008 at 36 and likely D deficient. I still chalk up the last two to getting Vit. D in order. This is fabulous news for loads of ladies out there shunning the sun and being told that you are getting enough Vit. D through casual daylight exposure. Huzzah!

  2. Further proof that you completely rock the free world, Jay. You certainly made me aware of this connection, which led to me getting tested and starting to supplement. I've been telling anyone who wants to hear it since.

  3. You're awesome, Jay...this is just further proof. It is amazing what you have done for so many women by posting this info...yeah, you!!

  4. Dear Jay. Thank you so much for your job. Few weeks ago I was indentified with a very low AMH (I'm 35 years old).Even if I'm not in my peak of fertility age, still I dont accept the ideea that I'm left without ovarian reserve. I always knew myself a very fertile woman who never had any ginecological problem.
    So, I want to be an ally to your research and today my AMH level is 1.9 pmol/l and guess what: my D vitamin is 21 ng/ml . I will start to take D3 supliments and I will let you know if and when this numbers will change.
    Meanwhile I wish you a lot of succes!

  5. Jay, Thank you so much for your support and the work you put into this.  AMH & Vitamin D has not been my issue, but seeing others trying to learn about this process, facing doctors who aren't willing or able to learn about these things its inspiring.  I have discovered how often even highly respected doctors get this stuff wrong it whether by ingnorance, disinterest or incompetence.  I *hate* that we can't all just trust our doctors, but your story is a lesson in the value of educating oneself and speaking up to doctors.

  6.  The problem with the doctor-patient relationship is, in a lot of cases, the patient thinks their doctor is like god, all knowing and all powerful. That is not true. Doctors are people like everybody else, and moreover, they are people with definite limitations, no matter their level of empathy or competence. 

    While our knowledge of biology may be vastly superior to what it was in the 18th century, there is SO MUCH, and I cannot emphasize this enough,  so, so much that we have no clue about. The 'we' includes both scientists and doctors, and being aware of how little we know, accepting it and dealing with it constructively is key.

    We are just starting to put things together, and most discoveries, like the AMH/Vitamin D thing come together by a number of coincidences and curiosity. So I don't blame any doctor for not knowing it, but I have been frustrated by the one doctor who shrugged and wrote it all off when I recounted the story to him. But then, I've told it to 2 others, who paid attention and have learned from it.

    So what I'm trying to say is, they are not the enemy, but neither are they the saviors. The key is to try to get information by yourself, independently of your doctor and then most importantly, judge everything objectively. The last part is where most people fail, because they simply do not have the training and the large amount of basic information needed :(

  7.  Ok, best of luc, please keep me posted! The other key to tying all of this together is your AFC, for an explanation, see here.


  8. Wish I had my AMH checked 2 months ago when my Vitamin D levels were 23! Today, they are now 31.5 with an AMH of 1.1. Would be interesting to know what is used to be before my vitamin d supplementation??

    Thanks for sharing your research and knowledge with us.....onward to IVF round one!

  9. Thank you Jay. When I saw my AMH jump 3 times, it was nothing short of a miracle. I had no idea you knew the author of this article.

  10. Very interesting! In the fall of 2010, I got tested and everything came back normal except my AMH level (1.1). My RE suggested Clomid and thankfully, we conceived our beautiful daughter after the first month! She is now almost 8 months old and we are thinking about TTC baby number 2. I'm assuming Clomid and nursing would not be possible so I'm curious if taking vitamin D would help. Did you just take extra vitamin D pills? If so, do you know if it is possible to take them while nursing?

    Thanks in advance!

  11.  Yes, I would highly recommend it. They are perfectly safe, you can take them at any time.  I recommend getting testing before supplementing, but if you are not, I'd take around 2000 IU/day.