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 8/30/21
A common question we get is whether or not a PdG test can confirm pregnancy. Keep reading to find out!
Here at Proov, we love all things PdG and progesterone. As you may already know, we did invent the first and only FDA cleared PdG test kit!
We get a lot of questions about our PdG tests — all of which we are more than happy to answer. A common question we get is whether or not a PdG test can confirm pregnancy, and we think this is a great one! Keep reading to find out.
What is PdG and why is it important?
Pregnanediol Glucuronide (or PdG for short) is a urine marker of the hormone progesterone. Before we can talk about PdG, we must first understand what progesterone is and why it’s important.
Progesterone is the hormone that rises during the second half of your cycle, the luteal phase. It is produced by the empty follicle from which the egg was released (a.k.a corpus luteum) after ovulation.
Progesterone’s job is to stabilize the uterine lining and make it “sticky” enough for an embryo to implant. Progesterone must be elevated to an adequate level during the entire implantation window (approximately days 7-10 after peak fertility) so that the uterine lining is receptive to the embryo.
Without enough progesterone for long enough after ovulation, it can be more difficult for implantation and pregnancy to be successful.
After progesterone circulates through your bloodstream, it gets metabolized (i.e. broken down) by your liver and is released from the body as PdG in your urine. Studies show that PdG levels in first morning urine correlate to an average of all progesterone levels from the previous day.
PdG allows for non-invasive tracking during your luteal phase to ensure that you have the best possible chance at implantation and pregnancy. In fact, other studies show that a presence of PdG in urine during the luteal phase increases chances of successful pregnancy from just 19% all the way to 92%! That’s a pretty powerful hormone.
PdG allows for non-invasive tracking during your luteal phase to ensure that your have the best possible chance at implantation and pregnancy.
Can a PdG test detect pregnancy?
So, "does a progesterone test detect pregnancy?" This is a great question (and one we get a lot!), but unfortunately the answer is no — PdG tests cannot detect pregnancy. They can only confirm that you’ve ovulated and that you have enough PdG production for long enough following ovulation.
The reason we get this question a lot is because progesterone levels do remain elevated throughout pregnancy; it’s even called the “pregnancy hormone.” The corpus luteum will continue progesterone production in early pregnancy through about weeks 8, 9, or 10. After that, the placenta is developed enough to take over the responsibility of producing progesterone and the level should increase substantially.
During pregnancy, progesterone continues to support the uterine lining by ensuring the growing fetus can get essential nutrients and oxygen. Additionally, progesterone prevents the uterus from having premature contractions, which can lead to miscarriage.
So ideally you want your progesterone levels to be elevated during pregnancy, meaning PdG levels when pregnant would also remain elevated. This, in turn, would likely mean that a PdG test would be positive if you were to test while pregnant.
However it’s important to note that Proov PdG tests are not validated to be used during pregnancy. Our tests are calibrated to turn positive at a level that is necessary for supporting conception, but during pregnancy your levels need to be much, much higher.
If you are concerned about your progesterone levels during pregnancy, we recommend consulting your doctor who will be able to test you and offer the best possible treatment, if necessary.
So then what do PdG tests do?
PdG tests, like Proov Confirm, allow for non-invasive, at-home PdG tracking. Our PdG test is the first and only FDA cleared kit to confirm successful ovulation at home. Successful ovulation refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg is released and PdG levels remain elevated for long enough to allow for the best possible chance at conception.
Our patented PdG testing protocol recommends testing PdG levels during 4 critical days during your luteal phase: days 7, 8, 9, and 10 past peak fertility (which is defined as your first positive LH test). During this testing window, we like to see 3-4 positives, with a positive result on day 10, to confirm that successful ovulation did in fact occur.
If you get 2 or more cycles with results that indicate successful ovulation, then you can be confident that low PdG levels are not preventing you from conception. However, if you get anything less than 3 positive tests or do not get a positive result, then “weak” ovulation (meaning not enough PdG) could be preventing you from conceiving.
Proov Confirm is the first and only FDA cleared PdG test kit to confirm successful ovulation at home.
How do I confirm pregnancy?
An at-home pregnancy test should do the trick! Home pregnancy tests measure human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is produced by the placenta during pregnancy. This is why the presence of hCG in urine confirms pregnancy.
While our PdG tests cannot confirm pregnancy and should not be used to monitor PdG levels during pregnancy, they can still give you powerful information to help you reach your fertility goals faster. Confirming successful ovulation is the perfect first step for any trying to conceive journey!