There are so many fertility testing options out there – clinics, mail-in test kits, at-home sperm tests, you name it. How do you know which ones to choose, or when you might need to do testing in the first place?
Fortunately, at-home testing is a convenient, cost-effective, and comprehensive option, and we’re here to help you understand why you might choose it and how to use it. At-home testing with the Proov Complete Testing Kit can help you test your ovarian reserve, find your entire fertile window AND confirm successful ovulation, with no clinic visits or blood tests.
Read on to find out more, and why at-home testing might be right for you.
Understanding At-Home Fertility Testing
What is at-home fertility testing, anyway? To some extent, it’s just what it sounds like – testing your fertility at home, rather than going to a clinic or some other location. There are many options, though, ranging from one-time blood tests aimed at understanding future fertility, to daily urinary tests giving you information on your current fertility.
When you’re trying to conceive or understand your cycles better, you might start with a period tracking app or ovulation calculator, but these don’t necessarily provide the best information or increase your chances of getting pregnant. Especially if you have irregular cycles, you might not ovulate on day 14 (in fact, most people don’t) and these predictors may not be accurate.
At-home fertility testing is a better way to actually track ovulation based on your unique hormones and cycle patterns. It’s also more convenient and less expensive than a trip to a fertility clinic, and can provide you information every day of your cycle.
You might want to use an at-home fertility testing kit for several reasons, including:
- You don’t want to get pregnant just yet, but you want information about future fertility and your cycle health
- You’re trying to get pregnant and want to make sure you’re timing intercourse correctly and ovulating successfully
- You’ve been trying for a while and want to increase chances of conceiving
- You have irregular cycles and find tracking ovulation difficult
So what is Proov Complete?
While many at-home testing systems exist, few can predict ovarian reserve, detect your entire fertile window (not just one or two days), AND confirm successful ovulation! That’s why we’re so excited about Proov Complete basically combining three different testing needs into one convenient kit.
Proov Complete is made up of two different test sticks that you use during different parts of your cycle: Proov Reserve FSH tests and our unique Multihormone tests, that capture information about estrogen, LH, and progesterone via their urinary metabolites.
At the beginning of your cycle, FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) testing on three different days provides information about your ovarian reserve – basically, how many eggs do you have left before menopause?
Then, throughout the rest of your cycle, Multihormone tests give you information about your current cycle and fertility, and help you understand all parts of your cycle, not just one or two fertile days like ovulation predictor kits.
First, Multihormone tests help you find the beginning of your fertile window by detecting the rise of estrogen via its urinary metabolite E1G. A study found that Proov Complete can find an average of 5.3 fertile days, because estrogen rises several days before ovulation and gives you a heads up that your fertility is high!
Several days after your estrogen rise, LH (luteinizing hormone) surges and triggers ovulation. Multihormone tests will detect this LH surge and alert you that your time of peak fertility is here! LH surges 24-36 hours before ovulation, and this is the day that you have the greatest chance of conceiving.
Finally, after ovulation, progesterone will begin to rise, signaling the end of the fertile time and the beginning of the luteal phase. Multihormone tests detect PdG, a metabolite of progesterone, and confirm that ovulation has occurred (an average of 2.6 days after the LH surge, if you’re curious).
You aren’t done yet, though – the last step is to confirm successful ovulation, because it’s possible to ovulate but without sufficient progesterone levels to sustain a pregnancy. This confirmation occurs during the implantation window (days 7-10 post-LH surge), when you test your PdG levels with the Multihormone tests.
Confirming successful ovulation is crucial to making sure implantation can be successful and you have the best chance of getting and staying pregnant! While there are definitely plenty of fertility tests that can help you find peak fertility, not many help you find the entire fertile window AND confirm successful ovulation.
How it Works: What's the Process?
Proov Complete is easy to use, too! The Proov Insight app is your guide to using the kit, and works on most smartphones. The Insight App will direct you to test on the days you need, and helps guide you through the process and results.
The FSH testing occurs on days 5, 7, and 9 of your cycle. You’ll also use a Multihormone test on day 5 to get baseline values for your E1G, LH, and PdG. After that, the Insight app will direct you to test with the Multihormone tests during your potentially fertile time and the implantation window.
To use the tests, you’ll need to collect your “first morning urine” (the first urine of the day after you wake up), dip the sticks following the package directions, and 10 minutes later, use the Insight app to take a photo and get your results.
On the last day of the implantation window, when all your testing is done, the app will generate the Proov Insight report, showing you your hormone trends, any possible concerns, and recommendations for follow-up with a physician.
What age should you get a fertility test?
If you plan to have children in the future, it’s a good idea to test around age 30, as this is when fertility begins to decline for women. If you have irregular cycles and you want to know when you’re ovulating, regardless of your age, fertility testing may also be helpful.
If you meet the criteria for an infertility evaluation (if you’ve been trying to conceive for over a year or If you’re 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for 6 months), you should also consider a fertility test.
When it comes to getting pregnant, knowledge is power. Especially since mistiming intercourse is a primary cause of infertility, it’s important to know when you’re actually ovulating even if you’re relatively young.
How to Know if Your Partner Should also Get Tested
Finally, while most fertility tests focus on the person ovulating, sperm quality is key to getting pregnant as well! If you’ve been trying for several months and you know you’re predicting and confirming successful ovulation, it’s a good idea to test your partner’s sperm.