Know More about Your PCOS with Proov
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 7/11/20
Updated on 9/9/21
Proov Confirm can be an essential tool for better understanding your PCOS, hormones, and cycle.
Did you know that as many as 1 in 10 women have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)? So many women battle with PCOS daily.
Here at Proov, we want you to know that you are not alone in your battle with PCOS. In fact, Proov can be an essential tool for better understanding your PCOS, hormones, and cycle. Keep reading to learn more!
What is PCOS?
PCOS is a common reproductive condition often caused by an imbalance in reproductive hormones. Women with PCOS often have higher levels of androgens (male sex hormones) which can alter levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which is responsible for the release of follicle stimulating hormone.
Because of this imbalance, women with PCOS commonly experience irregular cycles, menstruation, and may even have cycles which last over 30 days. Other women may experience amenorrhea, which is the absence of menstruation.
While some women may develop cysts on the surface of one or both of their ovaries, it’s important to note that PCOS is more often characterized by the excess androgens and hormone imbalance, despite the suggestion of the name.
In fact, recent diagnostic guidance suggests people be diagnosed with PCOS if they have two out of the three following issues:
- Irregular periods
- Excess androgens
- Polycystic ovaries (visible on an ultrasound)
While some women may develop cysts on the surface of one or both of their ovaries, it’s important to note that PCOS is more often characterized by excess androgens.
How does PCOS affect fertility?
According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PCOS is the leading cause of infertility in women. But luckily, it’s also one of the most treatable.
Excess androgens can alter LH and gonadotropin-releasing hormone levels. These hormones are both involved in the development and release of an egg.
Imbalances in their levels can interfere with or prevent ovulation from occurring. Without an egg, there is no chance at conception.
Additionally, lack of or suboptimal ovulation can lead to progesterone imbalances. Progesterone is only produced by an empty follicle after an egg has been released and is necessary in order for conception to occur.
Adequately elevated progesterone levels during the luteal phase help support implantation because progesterone is the hormone that makes the uterine lining “sticky” enough in order for an embryo to implant. Low or no progesterone production in those with and without PCOS can make it more difficult to conceive, even if they are ovulating.
How can Proov help?
People with PCOS often have trouble telling if and when they ovulated. An imbalance in LH levels means that LH can surge without triggering ovulation or LH can remain elevated throughout the entire cycle.
This can make it more difficult to rely on LH tests (also called ovulation tests) to accurately predict ovulation. Often, those with PCOS will get many positive LH tests, indicating an LH surge, but until recently they had no way of confirming whether or not they were actually ovulating.
But luckily now there’s Proov Confirm — the first and only FDA cleared PdG test to confirm successful ovulation at home. PdG (Pregnanediol Glucuronide) is a urine marker of progesterone and is only present in urine when progesterone is also present in blood.
While a single positive Proov PdG test confirms ovulation, our patented Proov PdG testing protocol can help those with and without PCOS confirm successful ovulation. This refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg is released and PdG levels remain adequately elevated for long enough to allow for the best possible chance at implantation and pregnancy.
Since PdG is only present in urine after an egg is released, Proov Confirm allows those with PCOS to confirm whether or not they ovulated. This can also give them data to bring to their doctor to determine the best next steps.
Since PdG is only present in urine after an egg is released, Proov Confirm allows those with PCOS to confirm whether or not they ovulated.
Taking actionable steps with Proov results
We like to see 3-4 positive PdG tests on days 7-10 past peak fertility (with a positive result on 10 DPP) to confirm that successful ovulation did in fact occur. If you do not get 3 positive results or do not get a positive result on day 10 past peak fertility, then this could be a sign of “weak” ovulation which could make it more difficult to conceive.
This means PdG levels were not elevated for as long as they should be. Luckily, there are a few simple ways to increase your PdG levels, including seed cycling, diet changes, and supplements. If you are interested in a prescription-level supplement, we recommend consulting your doctor.
If you never get a positive PdG test, this could be a sign that you are not ovulating which is great information to bring to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe ovulation-inducing medications.Regardless of your Proov results, you are now empowered with powerful information to help you better manage your PCOS! Have additional questions about using Proov with PCOS? Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.