Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm ovulation at home.
Written on 5/13/22
In the trying to conceive world, there are plenty of acronyms — LH, BFP, TTC, just to name a few. But there is one lesser-known acronym in particular that can actually help you get pregnant: PdG!
This tiny but mighty hormone marker may just be your key to success. Keep reading to learn more about PdG and how it can help you get pregnant.
What is PdG and how does it help you get pregnant?
PdG is a marker of the reproductive hormone, progesterone. Hormones play important roles in your cycle and your ability to conceive. Hormone markers are simply that – markers of a hormone, meaning they show up in various places (usually urine) when the hormone is also present.
PdG is the hormone marker that helps you understand if your body is ready to get pregnant. This is because its parent hormone, progesterone, prepares your body for conception.
After sperm and egg meet, it’s time for the newly formed embryo to meet you! For this to happen, the lining of your uterus needs to be sticky enough for the embryo to attach and for pregnancy to begin.
Progesterone is the hormone that makes your uterus sticky so pregnancy can happen. Without enough progesterone and PdG when they’re needed most, it can be more difficult to get pregnant.
In fact studies show that progesterone is critical for maintaining an early pregnancy, and lower-than-ideal PdG levels can increase the risk of miscarriage. Knowing your levels can help you have a better chance at pregnancy!
Additionally, a presence of PdG tells you whether or not you’ve ovulated — key information as pregnancy can’t happen without an egg. But wait, you may be wondering, what about an ovulation test?
Ovulation tests measure the hormone that causes ovulation to happen, while PdG is only released after ovulation occurs. A presence of PdG confirms that an egg was released and that it’s possible for sperm to find it!
Getting a positive ovulation test but not actually ovulating is more common than you might think, so confirming ovulation with a PdG rise is especially important if you’re trying to get pregnant.
A presence of PdG confirms an egg was released so you can get pregnant
When do I need PdG to help me get pregnant?
Your hormones fluctuate throughout your cycle. Each hormone rises at the time it’s needed most.
As we mentioned, ovulation tests measure the hormone that causes ovulation to occur, helping you know when sex is most likely to result in conception. Because of this, ovulation tests are used before ovulation, when we expect to see a rise in the hormone they measure. PdG, on the other hand, should rise after ovulation.
It makes sense when you think about it: first egg and sperm need to meet, which happens around ovulation. Then, for pregnancy to happen, the embryo needs to find its new home in your uterus.
Since PdG prepares the uterus to receive a pregnancy, elevated PdG levels are absolutely necessary following ovulation to have a higher chance of conceiving. There are a few key days after ovulation when PdG needs to be elevated called the implantation window.
Implantation occurs when the embryo attaches itself to the uterus. The implantation window refers to the few days each cycle that the uterus will be sticky enough to welcome that embryo, thanks to good old PdG!
Studies show that elevated PdG levels during the implantation window are associated with a 92% chance of successful pregnancy, versus just a 19% chance in those with low levels. If you weren’t convinced before, hopefully you’re convinced now — it’s time to check your PdG!
How do I check my PdG levels?
Just like how ovulation tests measure a certain hormone to help you know when you’re ovulating, a PdG test like Proov Confirm measures PdG to help you confirm ovulation and know your levels during the implantation window.
Testing PdG with Proov Confirm is simple! Just follow the instructions within the free Proov Insight app.
After using ovulation tests and getting a positive result, you’ll count out 7 days (we call these “days past peak fertility” or DPP for short). You’ll then test PdG with Proov Confirm on days 7, 8, 9, and 10 past peak fertility.
These 4 testing days line up perfectly with the implantation window, so you can understand what your levels look like during that oh-so-critical time period.
What do I do if my PdG levels are low?
The good news about PdG is that there are so many ways to support your levels, both naturally and via medication from a doctor. While we always recommend bring your PdG test results to your doctor to discuss best next steps together, here our some of our favorite ways to give PdG the boost it needs:
Seed cycling involves eating certain seeds to help improve the production of specific reproductive hormones. Pumpkin and flax seeds before ovulation support estrogen production, while sesame and sunflower seeds after ovulation support progesterone production.
Not to mention it’s super yummy!
Several herbal supplements have been shown to improve progesterone production, including vitex, maca, and ashwagandha. Our Luteal Love herbal supplement includes all 3!
Diet and lifestyle changes
Some foods — like broccoli, beans, spinach, and others — can help support your body in producing more progesterone. Getting a moderate amount of exercise and eating a well-balanced diet can help keep your fertility hormones balanced.
If natural methods just aren’t cutting it or if you need extra support, your doctor should be able to prescribe prescription-strength progesterone support. If this is something you’re interested in, we recommend consulting your doctor.
PdG may absolutely be your key to getting pregnant! Knowing where you stand is the first step in reaching your goals faster.