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Progesterone is pretty well known in the women’s health space. But have you heard of PdG? PdG, or Pregnanediol Glucuronide, is the urine metabolite of progesterone. Once progesterone has circulated through the blood, it is metabolized by the kidneys to be released as PdG in urine. Because of this, published studies have shown that PdG correlates to progesterone levels in blood.
Progesterone is important for myriad things when it comes to women’s health, but importantly, when trying to conceive, presence of progesterone at a certain level can confirm ovulation. Why is confirming ovulation so important? Because ovulation is key to getting pregnant! In fact, the leading cause of infertility is problems with ovulation, so it’s very important to make sure it’s happening, and happening in a healthy way.
Proov is the first and only FDA cleared at-home PdG test kit to confirm ovulation. We measure PdG in urine as a non-invasive solution to testing progesterone, which we think is awesome - dare we say it, even more awesome than using a progesterone blood test to confirm ovulation. Let’s dive more deeply into why!
How can I confirm ovulation?
1. Pregnanediol Glucuronide (PdG) Tracking
Tracking PdG is a non-invasive and convenient way to confirm ovulation. Proov is the first and only PdG test kit that is FDA cleared. Testing PdG levels with Proov is simple: just collect first morning urine, dip a strip, wait 5 minutes, and read results. Our tests are qualitative, meaning they give you a positive/negative result. They are designed to turn positive when 5 ug/ml of PdG is present in urine. Published studies have shown that 5 ug/ml of PdG correlates to about 10 ng/ml of progesterone in blood.
With Proov, you can test your PdG levels from the comfort of your home and have the test results in your hands in just 5 minutes. Plus, with one Proov kit, you can test PdG 5 times - critical information since your levels may be fluctuating day to day.
2. Progesterone Blood Test
A blood, or serum, progesterone measurement is taken through a one-time blood test from your doctor or a mail away kit. Usually, doctors order a blood test on day 21 of your cycle, approximately 7 days after ovulation, when progesterone should be the highest. These tests can be expensive, costing up to $150 for a single test. Not only this, but women often have to take time off work or out of their busy schedule to do their test exactly on day 21. In terms of mail away kits, you could wait up to two weeks for results - too long for women who need the information ASAP.
Another issue with serum progesterone testing is the assumption that all women ovulate on day 14, and therefore should have peak progesterone levels on day 21. The reality is that every cycle is different and if you ovulate on any day besides day 14, you could get results that aren’t really showing what’s truly going on from a blood test done on day 21.
3. Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
When progesterone rises in the body after ovulation, it causes an ever so slight shift in temperature. While basal body temperature tracking can be used to measure the slight increase in body temperature caused when progesterone rises and can therefore be used to confirm ovulation, it falls short of telling you if you have healthy ovulation - meaning your progesterone or PdG levels are over a certain threshold on certain days of your cycle.
Basal body temperature typically rises 0.5 to 1-degree Fahrenheit after ovulation from the presence of progesterone. But the temperature spike does not correlate with the amount of progesterone present. So, getting a spike of 0.5-degrees does not necessarily mean you have low progesterone and getting a spike of 1-degree also does not mean you are good to go.
Why should I test with PdG?
Are you convinced yet? Here’s one last push for PdG!
We mentioned serum progesterone tests can be unreliable due to variation in cycle lengths. Aside from that, serum progesterone levels can also fluctuate throughout the day, with “levels as low as 2.3 to peaks of 40.1 ng.ml, often within the course of minutes” (Fillcori, Butler, and Crowley, Jr.). Here’s a graph that shows these changes
So, if you had your blood drawn at 11 am, you could have very different results than if it were drawn at 6 pm. As a result, your one point in time progesterone measurement could lead you to falsely believe your progesterone levels were adequate when they were not, or vice versa.
On the other hand, PdG measurements in first morning urine have shown not to be subject to these fluctuations, since they reflect more of an “average” of what happened with progesterone from the day before. PdG measurements follow a more predictable and smooth pattern:
Testing PdG gives you a fuller picture of your progesterone levels over time and leads to more actionable results. In fact, studies have shown PdG measurements to be effective in detecting a luteal phase defect (a.k.a. low progesterone). Since PdG testing is non-invasive and can be done at home, you can easily track your PdG levels over multiple days. Proov allows for confirming healthy ovulation by tracking PdGdays 7, 8, 9, and 10 after peak fertility. It’s best for PdG to be above 5 ug/ml (the threshold of a positive Proov result) on all or most of these days to indicate successful ovulation occurred.
So, what are you waiting for? Test your PdG levels with FDA-cleared Proov today for convenient, complete, and accurate results!