Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to check for successful ovulation at home.
Written on: 5/27/22
A “fertility test” can feel kind of intimidating. After all, it can be difficult to know where to start or what information you’re looking for.
For women, there are many different fertility testing options available. Keep reading to learn more about fertility test options for women and how Proov can help.
Choosing a Fertility Hormone Test
Like we said, there are so many fertility testing options on the market. If you’re struggling with where to start, we always recommend starting with at-home testing options, for a few reasons:
- They’re cheaper. Most at-home testing options can provide lab-level information, without the lab-level bill.
- You can do them at home. This one probably seems obvious (they are called “at-home” tests, after all), but you’d be surprised how much more convenient and comfortable it can be doing testing at home vs. in a doctor’s office or lab.
They’re great conversation starters for your doctor’s appointment. At-home testing doesn’t mean doing something behind your doctor’s back. In fact, it’s entirely the contrary! Bringing at-home test results to your doctor’s appointment can help inform better conversations with your doctor, so you can work together to choose the best path forward.
But even in the at-home testing category, there are several different options. It’s important to note that most at-home fertility tests measure various female fertility hormones. Choosing the right at-home fertility test for you often depends on what information you want to learn.
Here are a few common pieces of information you can learn from an at-home fertility hormone test.
Choosing the right at-home fertility test for you often depends on what information you want to learn.
Ovarian Reserve Tests
Ovarian reserve refers to how many eggs you have left in your ovaries. Women are born with all the eggs they’ll ever have, meaning as we age and go through life, we’re slowly losing eggs over time.
Once we our out of eggs, we reach menopause — which is totally natural and happens to everyone with ovaries! Understanding how many eggs you have left can help you better understand your reproductive timeline, i.e. how much time you have to get pregnant.
There are a few fertility hormones that can give insight into ovarian reserve: anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
AMH is the hormone produced by eggs that remain in your ovaries. So, the more eggs you have left, the higher your AMH will be. On the flip side, the less eggs you have on hand, the lower your AMH will be.
FSH is the hormone that stimulates the ovaries to produce an egg for ovulation each cycle. When you have many eggs left, the ovaries have lots of options to choose from and don’t need as much FSH to help them out. The less eggs you have left, the harder your ovaries have to work to choose an egg and the more FSH is needed to fuel them.
It’s a little confusing, but bear with us: the higher your FSH levels are, the less eggs you have left and the lower your FSH levels are, the more eggs you have left.
Regardless of the hormone you test, AMH and FSH tests will provide you with valuable information about your ovarian reserve so you can work with your doctor to make a plan.
Fertility tests provide you with valuable information you can bring to your doctor.
Ovulation Prediction & Confirmation Tests
If you’re thinking about getting pregnant either now or in the future, you should be thinking about ovulation. Ovulation is when an egg is released each cycle and since sperm must fertilize an egg in order for conception to occur, knowing if and when you ovulate is critical to your success.
Ovulation typically occurs about midway through the cycle. The midway point varies from woman to woman as our cycle lengths vary, and can even vary from cycle to cycle in the same woman.
As you probably guessed, testing your fertility hormones is the best way to determine when your ovulation should occur — critical information for making sure you’re having intercourse at the right time in your cycle!
Luteinizing hormone (LH) is the hormone that spikes right before ovulation, about 12-36 hours in advance, and triggers ovulation to occur.
Testing LH levels with an at-home ovulation test can help you understand when during your cycle ovulation should occur. If you’re actively trying, once you get that positive test result it’s time to get busy!
But, testing LH with an ovulation test actually tells you nothing about whether or not ovulation actually occurred. Sometimes, an LH surge won’t actually trigger ovulation to occur.
The good news is that testing PdG (a urine marker of progesterone) can confirm whether or not you’ve ovulated. PdG is only released after ovulation occurs and needs to be elevated during the second half of your cycle to allow for a higher chance of pregnancy.
Using a PdG test can help you not only confirm that ovulation in fact occurred, but also that your PdG levels are sufficient to allow for a higher chance of pregnancy. The more you know about your PdG levels up front, the better set up for success you can be in the long run.
How can Proov help?
If you’re looking for as much fertility hormone information as possible — regardless of where you’re at in your journey — we’ve got you covered!
Proov Complete measures all 4 key cycle hormones to give you empowering information about your ovarian reserve and ovulation. The free Proov Insight app will walk you through exactly how and when to test so you get the most valuable data possible.
At the end of your cycle with Proov Complete, you'll be able to export all your fertility hormone data into one convenient PDF to share with your doctor. Together, you can review your unique hormone levels and make a plan.
While fertility testing can be intimidating, our goal is to provide you with easy-to-access information right at your fingertips — so you can get pregnant on your terms.