The key difference between AMH and FSH is that AMH is a hormone produced by cells of the antral and pre-antral follicles in the ovaries while FSH is a hormone released by the pituitary gland in the brain.
A woman’s reproduction ability declines with age; this is because ovaries’ ability to produce good-quality eggs reduces drastically with age. As a result, the number of quality eggs for reproduction declines, causing infertility problems and lower pregnancy chances. Anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are two ovarian hormones that can indicate the functioning of ovaries and the ovarian reserve status. AMH level is the best indicator or test for assessing women’s ovarian reserve status. However, both AMH and FSH are important in getting the complete picture of ovarian reserve and fertility in general.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is AMH
3. What is FSH
4. Similarities Between AMH and FSH
5. Side by Side Comparison – AMH vs FSH in Tabular Form
What is AMH?
AMH stands for anti-mullerian hormone. Cells of the developing antral and pre-antral follicles in the ovaries secrete AMH. Once secreted, AMH prevents immature follicles from entering the menstrual process. It also prevents the maturation of egg cells at the same time. Thus, the AMH level indicates the number of eggs maturing in the ovaries. It is the best indicator of a woman’s ovarian reserve. Furthermore, the AMH test is a reliable test to assess ovarian function.
AMH level can be measured by a simple blood test done at any day of the menstrual cycle. The level of AMH remains consistent since the number of follicles remains consistent. But, with age, AMH level declines drastically. In fact, the AMH level correlates with menopause timing. Hence, it helps us to understand the likelihood of reaching menopause earlier than the average age.
What is FSH?
FSH or follicle-stimulating hormone is a hormone released by the pituitary gland in the brain. Low level of estrogen stimulates the secretion of FSH by the pituitary gland. FSH is required for the growth of ovarian follicles and maturation of eggs. Maturation of eggs is an essential process for reproduction. When ovarian follicles grow, it produces the hormone AMH, estrogen and progesterone. FSH level can be measured accurately on the third day of the period. FSH level fluctuates daily during the menstrual cycle. The highest value of FHS occurs immediately before ovulation.
Furthermore, FSH is an indicator of women’s ovarian reserve. But, the FSH level should be measured along with the estradiol levels since high estradiol could suppress FSH production. Hence, the FSH test is not the best test for ovarian reserve when compared to the AMH test.
What are the Similarities Between AMH and FSH?
- AMH and FSH are two hormones that are able to indicate ovarian reserve.
- Both AMH and FSH level can be measured by a simple hormone blood test.
- They are structurally glycoprotein hormones.
What is the Difference Between AMH and FSH?
AMH and FSH are two glycoprotein hormones. Cells of the antral and pre-antral follicles in the ovaries produce AMH while pituitary gland secretes FSH. So, this is the key difference between AMH and FSH. Moreover, AMH level remains consistent throughout the menstrual cycle while FSH level varies. Therefore, this is another difference between AMH and FSH.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between AMH and FSH.
Summary – AMH vs FSH
AMH and FSH are two hormones that can indicate women’s ovarian reserve. Cells of the growing follicles secrete AMH while pituitary gland produces FSH. Thus, this is the key difference between AMH and FSH. Furthermore, high levels of estradiol can suppress the level of FSH, while estradiol cannot suppress the level of AMH. Moreover, AMH level is consistent throughout the menstrual cycle while FSH level varies throughout the menstrual cycle. Most importantly, the AMH level accurately indicates the ovarian reserve while FSH level does not provide an accurate measure of ovarian reserve. However, both hormones are important to understand a complete picture of ovarian reserve and fertility in general. So, this summarizes the difference between AMH and FSH.
1. “FSH Levels: Age-Specific FSH to Assess Ovarian Reserve: CHR.” Center For Human Reproduction, Available here.
2. MacMillan, Carrie. “Women, How Good Are Your Eggs?” Yale Medicine, Available here.
1. “FSHA+B+receptor 1XWD” – adapted from here using PyMOL (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
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