Female vs. Male Reproductive Hormones
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 9/3/21
Keep reading to learn more about hormone changes in men and how you both can be more prepared on your trying to conceive journey.
As women who experience monthly cycles and changes in our hormones, it’s often hard for us to relate to our male counterparts who don’t seem to experience the same changes. No one without a uterus truly understands the pain of cramps or frustration in period-induced hormonal changes!
While this all may be true, you and your significant other may be more similar than you think. Keep reading to learn more about hormone changes in men and how you both can be more prepared on your trying to conceive journey.
Female vs. Male Reproductive Hormones
Before we can understand how our hormones change, we must first understand the main differences between female and male reproductive hormones. While both men and women do have the same hormones in their bodies, we have different levels based on our needs.
Women have two main reproductive hormones: estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones work together to regulate our menstrual cycles, help with puberty and sexual development, and ultimately help us conceive. They also play other roles in our body from mood management to cardiovascular health and even bone health.
Men, on the other hand, only have one main reproductive hormone: testosterone. Testosterone is produced mainly in the testes and is responsible for many things, including puberty, libido, facial and body hair, and sperm production. Like estrogen and progesterone, testosterone also plays a role in other parts of the body including the heart, bones, brain, and kidneys, among others.
How do my hormones fluctuate?
As you likely know, our hormones fluctuate throughout our cycle. It is these important fluctuations that help regulate the phases of our cycle and promote ovulation.
During the first half of your cycle, follicles are growing and maturing in preparation to release a mature egg. As they do this, they put out estrogen which thickens the uterine lining in preparation for implantation and pregnancy. Estrogen is the dominant hormone during the first half of your cycle, while progesterone is low.
Then, after ovulation occurs, progesterone becomes the dominant hormone. The empty follicle from which the egg was released (also called the corpus luteum) starts producing progesterone, which makes the already thickened uterine lining “sticky” enough to allow an embryo to successfully implant.
Each cycle, there should be a balance between estrogen and progesterone — first estrogen should rise, then progesterone. Sometimes, this balance can be disturbed and you may experience a hormonal imbalance. When this happens, sometimes you may get unwanted symptoms like PMS (premenstrual syndrome), cramps, irregular periods, heavy periods, or spotting.
If you are trying to conceive, ensuring you have a healthy hormone balance is essential to ensure a healthy and successful ovulation. But more on this later!
Each cycle, there should be a balance between estrogen and progesterone — first estrogen should rise, then progesterone.
How do my partner’s hormones fluctuate?
You may think that men, since they only have one main reproductive hormone, do not experience hormone fluctuations. Until very recently we thought that, too!
In fact, men do experience fluctuations in testosterone levels. They have their own mini “cycle” that occurs daily.
Testosterone peaks in blood in the mornings, around 8 am. Then, testosterone levels slowly drop throughout the day until they hit their lowest level in the evening, around 8 pm. Overnight, testosterone returns to its optimal level.
For many of us with male significant others, this makes sense. If your S.O. seems more energized in the morning, but needs his “couch time” to R&R in the evening, this could be the result of changes in testosterone.
However, it’s important to note that testosterone levels can be influenced by many external factors. Men can experience a spike in testosterone from things like a high intensity workout, drinking alcohol or caffeine, or watching an action movie. Studies even show that a man’s testosterone can rise or fall given how his favorite team does in a sporting event!
While men experience day-to-day changes in testosterone, there is also research that shows men may experience seasonal testosterone changes. A recent study found that while there is still a question as to whether or not men experience seasonal fluctuations, it could be explained by the changes in melatonin and vitamin D levels that occur in summer vs. winter, for example.
So what does this mean if I’m trying to conceive?
If, like us, you learned something about your partner today, you may be wondering what other information you should know when trying to conceive. And we believe the more information you have sooner, the better prepared you can be along your journey.
In fact, about 40-50% of all infertility cases are caused by male factor infertility. We’ve seen many couples that wait to get a sperm analysis — why not know more information sooner? With the His and Hers Fertility Starter kit, you can!
Each His and Hers kit comes with both a Proov Predict & Confirm kit and a YO Sperm test for convenient at-home testing.
Proov has partnered with YO Sperm to put together the ultimate TTC kit for you and your significant other. Each His and Hers kit comes with both a Proov Predict & Confirm kit and a YO Sperm test for convenient at-home testing. Together, Proov and YO can give you insight into the main causes of infertility in about 80% of all cases — timing intercourse, problems with ovulation, and sperm quality and quantity.
The YO Sperm kit allows you to track both factors of sperm quality — count and motility — while most at-home sperm tests can only measure sperm count. The amount of sperm you have is of course important, but their ability to get to the egg (i.e. motility) is also critical to conception.
The Proov Predict & Confirm kit contains enough LH and PdG tests for one cycle of testing. When used together with the Proov Insight app, our quantitative LH tests allow you to identify your two most fertile days each cycle and watch your LH levels change over time.
Additionally, Proov PdG (marker of progesterone) tests are the first and only FDA cleared PdG test kit to confirm successful ovulation at home. Using our patented PdG testing protocol along with the Proov Insight app allows you to not only confirm that you did in fact ovulate, but that it was also a “successful” ovulation. This means PdG levels remained adequately elevated for long enough to allow for the best possible chance at conception.
The more you know about you and your partner’s hormones and body, the sooner you can conceive! Know more today and get 20% off the His and Hers Fertility kit with the code HISHERS20, only on proovtest.com.