When it comes to getting a handle on your fertility, you have lots of great options out there! But how do you choose between them? How do you know if you need to predict ovulation, confirm ovulation, and everything in between? What’s the fertile window, and do you really need to know when it is?
Fortunately, when you have questions, Proov has answers, and we’re here to help you understand the differences between two of our most popular at-home fertility tests: the Proov Complete Testing System and Confirm PdG Tests. Read on to learn about both and why you might want to choose one or the other!
Fertility Testing at Home: How it Works
At this point you may be wondering, “Hold up. Fertility testing? Don’t I need to go into a clinic for that? Is it even useful?” Fortunately, the answer is no, you don’t need to go anywhere (well, except maybe your bathroom). That’s because at-home fertility tests for females rely on urine tests to determine your hormone levels!
As it turns out, when your body breaks down your hormones, you excrete them in your urine in levels that correspond to the level of those hormones in your blood/serum either the day before, or a few hours ago, depending on the hormone. That means that urinary hormone tests are highly accurate and able to give you information in the comfort of your home that you’d need a blood test for otherwise.
The other advantage of fertility testing at home is that you can get results on multiple days of your cycle, instead of just a single day when you go into a clinic. Especially since not everyone ovulates on day 14, it can be difficult to accurately time a clinic visit, but an at-home fertility test circumvents this problem by tailoring protocols to your unique cycle.
You don’t need a doctor’s order to use at-home fertility tests, either. They’re completely noninvasive, and nearly anyone can benefit from the information, whether you’ve been TTC for a while, are worried about your future fertility, or have irregular cycles.
What does Proov's Complete Testing System entail?
First, let’s talk about the most bang-for-your-buck: the Proov Complete Testing System! Proov Complete does it all. Over the course of an entire cycle, you’ll:
- Test ovarian reserve: In the beginning of your cycle, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels provide information about your ovarian reserve (how many eggs you have left) and your future fertility.
- Find the entire fertile window: While many fertility tests only tell you when you’re likely about to ovulate, Proov Complete can find the entire fertile window (an average of 5.3 fertile days). This is based on detecting the rise of estrogen (via its metabolite, E1G), which comes several days before ovulation and gives you a heads up that it’s time to start trying!
- Predict ovulation: When luteinizing hormone (LH) rises, it indicates that you’ll likely ovulate in 12-36 hours. This gives you your two most fertile days, with the day of the LH surge/day before ovulation being your greatest chance of conception.
- Confirm ovulation: It isn’t just enough to predict ovulation, though! To sustain a pregnancy (and have a healthy luteal phase), progesterone levels also need to reach a certain point during the implantation window (7-10 days after ovulation). Proov Complete tests PdG (a metabolite of progesterone) on these days to help you confirm successful ovulation during the implantation window.
When and How do I Use Each Test?
The Proov Complete Testing System contains two types of test sticks: FSH rests (like those in Proov Reserve) and Multihormone Tests, that accurately test E1G, LH, and PdG. The Proov Insight App on your smartphone will direct you on when and how to test!
In short, FSH testing will be on days 5, 7, and 9 of your cycle. The Multihormone testing will be based on your unique cycle parameters, and the Insight App will help you figure out when. You’ll collect your first morning urine, dip the stick as directed, and wait 10 minutes before using the app to read the test!
At the end of the implantation window, you’ll receive a customized Proov Insight Report, giving you information on your overall hormone levels, including key hormone balance ratios and an Ovulation Score to determine whether or not your ovulation was successful.
What does Proov's Confirm PdG Test entail?
While Proov Complete includes PdG testing, you can also do PdG testing alone with Proov Confirm, the first FDA-cleared at-home test for successful ovulation. Proov Confirm test strips test for PdG, a urinary metabolite of progesterone that correlates with serum progesterone levels, to confirm successful ovulation.
You can use Proov Confirm to determine if you’re ovulating successfully by testing during the implantation window. Even if you’re ovulating regularly, you may not be ovulating successfully (that is, your PdG levels don’t quite make it high enough or for long enough).
How Does it Work?
To use Proov Confirm, you’ll need some method of predicting ovulation like cervical mucus, an ovulation predictor kit, or basal body temperature (if you plan to use a period tracker, you may want to read this for more information on using one with Proov Confirm).
When you predict or detect ovulation with your chosen method, you’ll log it in the Proov Insight app, and the insight app will then direct you to test with Proov Confirm on days 7-10 post-peak fertility. Just like Proov Complete, you’ll use first morning urine and follow the Insight App’s instructions on how to dip the tests.
At the end of the implantation window, you’ll receive an Ovulation Score based on your PdG testing results. This indicates whether or not you ovulated successfully, with a high ovulation score greatly increasing your chances of a successful pregnancy.
Main Differences Between Tests & Pros of Using Them
Now that you know about each test, you’re probably wondering why you would pick one over the other!
Certainly, if you’re trying to get pregnant or learn more about your cycle, you might benefit from either. The simplest difference is that Proov Confirm PdG Tests only confirm successful ovulation during the implantation window, whereas the Complete Testing System will also help you find your fertile window and test ovarian reserve.
So, if you’re looking for all the information possible and quantitative measurements of the four key menstrual cycle hormones, Proov Complete may be for you! Especially if you’ve been trying for a while and are concerned about knowing the most possible about your hormones, Proov Complete will help you understand what’s going on and help guide you towards your next steps.
If you already have a preferred method of ovulation tracking, though, and you’re mostly concerned about confirming successful ovulation, Proov Confirm is definitely simpler and a solid choice (after all, it’s the test that started it all here at Proov)! Since ovulatory disorders are the leading cause of female infertility, Proov Confirm is a great tool to increase your chances of pregnancy.