Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm successful ovulation at home.
Written on 9/13/21
Updated on 12/10/21
Ovulation is important at all life stages, whether you are trying to conceive or not.
If you’re familiar with Proov, you’ve probably heard us talk about ovulation...a lot. While we did invent the first and only FDA cleared PdG test to check for successful ovulation, we also think ovulation is really cool and believe that when women know more about their ovulation, they can better set themselves up for success — regardless of their goals.
In fact, ovulation is important at all life stages, whether you are trying to conceive or not. Keep reading to learn our top 3 reasons why ovulation is important.
What is the process of ovulation?
While ovulation itself is a singular event, it’s important to understand the processes throughout your whole cycle which lead to a healthy ovulation. It all starts at the very beginning of your cycle!
Once your period starts, your ovaries send a signal to your brain that it’s time to prepare another egg for ovulation. In return, your brain sends FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) to your ovaries to stimulate them to grow and mature follicles in preparation to release an egg.
As these follicles mature, they produce estrogen. Eventually, one follicle takes over and becomes dominant, releasing a high enough amount of estrogen to cause a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge.
LH is the hormone that triggers the follicle to rupture and release the egg. Ovulation typically occurs about 12-48 hours after an LH surge.
After ovulation, the empty follicle from which the egg was released (now called the corpus luteum) starts producing progesterone. Progesterone is responsible for preparing the uterus for implantation and pregnancy, as well as ensuring your luteal phase is a healthy length.
Reason #1: Successful ovulation is a sign of a healthy menstrual cycle.
Successful ovulation refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg is released and progesterone levels remain adequately elevated for long enough to allow for a healthy luteal phase. As we saw above, there are many hormones and processes that must align in order for ovulation to occur each cycle.
While you could be having a regular cycle — meaning your cycle lasts the same amount of days consistently — this may not be giving you enough information to know if your cycle is actually healthy. In fact, a recent study found that seemingly regular cycles could have underlying issues that include anovulation (i.e. a lack of ovulation) and luteal phase defect.
Confirming successful ovulation can help you better assess your menstrual cycle and hormonal health to identify issues that you may not be able to see from other factors such as cycle length and regularity.
While you could be having a regular cycle — meaning your cycle lasts the same amount of days consistently — this may not be giving you enough information to know if your cycle is actually healthy.
Reason #2: Tracking ovulation can help you identify underlying health issues.
While confirming successful ovulation is incredibly important for your cycle health, it also gives insight into your overall health as well. Recently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) released guidance that your cycle be considered your fifth vital sign.
A vital sign shows how well your body is functioning and can give insight into your general health or help identify potential health concerns. The ACOG recognizes that changes in our ovulation and cycles can be an indicator of health impacts from environmental factors or other medical conditions.
For example, anovulation is common in those with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). While PCOS is a reproductive hormone issue, it can lead to other health concerns including insulin resistance and obesity. Better understanding your ovulation and hormone patterns can help identify potential issues that may impact your overall health.
Reason #3: Successful ovulation is critical to conception.
If you are trying to conceive, then successful ovulation may be the missing piece to your pregnancy puzzle. As we mentioned, successful ovulation refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg is released and progesterone levels remain adequately elevated for long enough during the luteal phase.
Progesterone specifically needs to be adequately elevated during the implantation window — the four day window of time during the luteal phase in which the uterine lining will be receptive to a newly formed embryo.
The implantation window needs to last from days 7 through 10 past peak fertility in order for an embryo to have the best possible chance at implantation. If progesterone levels drop too soon during the luteal phase, then the implantation window may close too early and hurt your chances at conception.
How can I check for successful ovulation?
Proov Confirm is the first and only FDA cleared PdG test to confirm successful ovulation at home.
We’re so glad you asked! You can confirm successful ovulation with Proov Confirm — the first and only FDA cleared PdG test to confirm successful ovulation at home. PdG (Pregnanediol Glucuronide) is a marker of progesterone found in urine and is only elevated when progesterone is also elevated.
With Proov Confirm, you can monitor your PdG levels over days 7, 8, 9, and 10 past peak fertility, which are the critical days during the luteal phase when PdG levels need to remain elevated. In fact, studies show that elevated levels of PdG during the luteal phase are correlated to a 92% chance at successful pregnancy!
We like to see 3-4 positive PdG tests during the 7-10 days past peak fertility testing window (with a positive result on day 10) to confirm successful ovulation. Anything less than 3 positive results or a negative result on day 10 may be a sign of weak ovulation, which we saw can make it more difficult to conceive or be a sign of a hormonal imbalance.
But luckily, with Proov you can track your ovulation and get empowering information to help you make informed decisions about your reproductive health!