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 10/5/21
This spooky season, it’s always important to test THEN treat.
Test then Treat: Why it’s important to know where you stand before supplementing!
Here at Proov, we are all about empowering women with information they can use to advocate for their reproductive health. We know at-home hormone testing can be a critical tool for seeking treatment. However, we often see women skip testing altogether and instead stock up on supplements that may be doing more harm than good.
Treating a potential ovulatory problem before actually identifying it can lead to unintended consequences. Keep reading to learn more about the risks of treating before testing!
Risks of Treating Before Testing
If you don’t test your hormones and decide to treat a problem you may or may not have, there could be some harmful effects. Here are a few common issues we have seen when ovulatory disorders are treated without testing first:
Depression and anxiety are both more serious side effects of progesterone supplements and if you’re sensitive to medication, it’s best to talk with your doctor. There are a ton of different types of progesterone supplements, including pills taken orally, suppositories, topical creams, and more. When considering the more intense progesterone medication, always consult your doctor.
If your hormones are generally in balance to begin with, taking herbal supplements can actually throw you out of balance. A great herbal option for ovulation health support is vitex. However, taking vitex when your hormones are already balanced might throw that balance out of whack, which is definitely something to consider before sipping on fertility teas or starting on other over the counter fertility supplements, which often contain vitex.
Prevention of Ovulation
Taking progesterone suppositories too early in your cycle can have the opposite effect of helping an ovulation problem. In fact, they can prevent ovulation when taken too early. Progesterone suppositories are most often prescribed by a doctor - and should be used under the care of a doctor. Your doctor may suggest you confirm ovulation before starting supplements.
A positive Proov PdG test means you’ve confirmed ovulation, which can be helpful to figure out when to start. Additionally, you can confirm ovulation if your PdG test on day 3 past peak is significantly lighter than your baseline.
When supplements are taken without first understanding what they are treating, it can result in wasted money and time.
They may be ineffective
Progesterone creams are typically ineffective. You may hear some stories from women who say a progesterone cream made all the difference and that’s great, but it’s likely that the effect was psychological rather than physiological.
While progesterone creams are all the rage right now, studies have shown that they are ineffective in raising progesterone levels in blood and urine. If you have a true ovulatory issue, creams likely won’t offer strong enough support.
Hormone supplements can be expensive. While this isn’t a health hazard, buying hormone supplements month after month can put a strain on your bank account. Buying supplements to treat a known problem can be money well spent.
However, when they are taken without first understanding what they are treating, it can result in wasted money and time. If you’re interested in trying to conceive the quickest and most cost effective way possible, we recommend checking out our fertility checklist!
Testing hormone levels and understanding your body before trying different treatments can prevent you from facing potential risks or wasting time and money.
The Bottom Line: Test Before You Treat!
How can you avoid the risks, costs, and uncertainties of self-treating an ovulatory issue? Test before you treat! At-home testing options, like Proov, can help you learn more about your body and hormones to ensure you take what’s right for you.
Proov Confirm is the first and only FDA-cleared PdG test kit for ovulation confirmation. Testing with Proov PdG tests on days 7, 8, 9, and 10 after suspected ovulation confirms that “successful” ovulation has occurred, meaning PdG levels remained elevated for long enough to allow for the best chance at implantation and conception that cycle.
We like to see 3-4 positive PdG tests on days 7-10 past peak fertility (with a positive result on day 10) to confirm that successful ovulation did in fact occur. If your Proov PdG tests show you’re ovulating successfully, then you can assume ovulatory issues are likely not preventing you from conceiving, meaning you can save money on supplements and start exploring other routes with your doctor.
However, if two or more of your Proov tests were negative, or you got a negative result on day 10 past peak, this could indicate “weak ovulation” and we recommend following up with your doctor. You can then seek out treatment options, such as the following!
Treatments that Promote Healthy Ovulation
If you are low on PdG sometimes herbal supplements, diet changes, or seed cycling can get your levels back in check. But if you’re in need of stronger support, progesterone suppositories or supplements prescribed by your doctor may be a better option.
If you don’t test your PdG levels and decide to treat a problem you may or may not have, there could be some harmful effects.Testing hormone levels and understanding your body before trying different treatments can prevent you from facing potential risks or wasting time and money. When in doubt, test then treat!