Understanding My Hormones with Feminade
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 2/2/21
If you’re new around here, let me introduce myself: I’m Amy Beckley, a hormone scientist and infertility and miscarriage survivor. I invented Proov to give women more answers about their ovulation health by allowing them to measure PdG (progesterone metabolites) at home.
My infertility was due to a problem with ovulation. I ovulate, just not very well. This means my progesterone crashes too soon after ovulation. You may know that progesterone is the hormone released by the empty follicle after ovulation occurs. Without enough progesterone, it can be more difficult to successfully conceive.
Learning more about my cycle
The menstrual cycle is now considered the 5th vital sign. This means the health of your menstrual cycle can help you understand the health of your entire body.
I know I have poor ovulation due to negative Proov tests, but the real question is why? Why can’t my body ovulate very well?
I’ve seen companies offer complete dried urine hormone profile mapping, but with a $500-600 price tag plus the $350 doctor consultation, it was just out of my price range. So I did lifestyle and diet changes like seed cycling and take extra B vitamins to help my body ovulate better. However, good ovulation has always been a struggle for me.
Then, I found Feminade!
One day I was scrolling Instagram and came across Roya Pakzad and her new company Feminade. The idea is simple: get a complete dried urine hormone profile plus an hour long consultation with a doctor who will explain results and recommend next steps, all for just $299!
The significance of dried urine method is that it measures important metabolites not available in serum or saliva testing, providing a clearer picture of hormone balance and function. This leads to more nuanced and effective treatment options. Metabolites that increase risk for cancers, osteoporosis, and other serious conditions, as well as protective metabolites, are measured. This allows greater safety in prescribing hormone therapy.
The Feminade Hormone Balance Bundle includes 1 at-home test kit, a 60-minute consultation with a licensed Naturopathic doctor, a review of test results and symptoms, and a personalized treatment plan.
I immediately reached out to Roya and we scheduled a call for the next day. After speaking with her, I knew I had to do this testing — it was an amazing opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up.
To start the hormone testing, Feminade recommends collecting urine samples on day 5, 6, or 7 after ovulation. So, I broke out my Proov Predict and Confirm kit and began testing with the LH tests to detect a surge.
I got a positive LH test (indicating a surge) on December 9th. I then counted 7 days from this peak date and took a Proov PdG test on December 16th. It was positive, confirming a had indeed ovulated and was at least 5 to 7 days past ovulation.
The Proov Predict and Confirm kit comes with 15 LH tests and 5 PdG tests so you can predict and confirm ovulation from home.
I collected my urine samples throughout the day. I dipped the simple cards into the urine, dried them (a towel rack works great!), then mailed them back. I’ll also add that I did get my period on December 19th, giving me a short luteal phase of just 10 days and my Proov PdG test was negative on December 18th.
After two weeks, my hormone report was emailed to me and when I opened it, my jaw hit the floor! No wonder I wasn’t ovulating — many of my hormones were at an all time low. After seeing this, I couldn’t wait to talk to the doctor about my results and hear her recommendations.
During my consultation, Dr. Biller said low hormone levels happen when we “burn the candle at both ends for far too long.” Immediately, I asked if I could make lifestyle changes to reduce stress. I told her I spend all my time on Proov and my family, neither of which I could cut out of my life. Together, we spent the next 60-minute consultation discussing my results in depth to develop a plan.
Here’s where my hormone levels were sitting:
- My DHEA and testosterone levels were very low, leading to lower than normal estrogen levels.
- My cortisol, cortisone, mineralocorticoids, and thyroid hormones were also all very low. This means my HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) axis was not functioning properly. My thyroid was not functioning properly either.
What does all this mean? I was burnt out!
So, Dr. Biller prescribed some supplements to help my adrenal glands function as well as give me a boost in testosterone.
These are the supplements Dr. Biller prescribed to help my adrenal glands function and boost testosterone.
I’ve been on the supplements for about a week now and I can honestly say I feel better. Before starting the supplements, I always had the feeling that there was never enough time in the day for all the things I needed to do. If one little thing didn’t go as planned, I would start to immediately spiral.
Now I feel a little more “at peace” with my day. I recognize that I can only do and control so much. Sometimes I just need to let things go.
I had the chance to sit down with Roya to discuss my results. We agreed to chat again in 2 months to see if my treatment plan has helped. Stay tuned for the update!
Through my experience with Feminade, I have learned so much about my body. If I could leave you with one piece of advice, I would recommend starting by determining if you are ovulating properly with Proov PdG tests.
If you are getting negative Proov tests during the testing window that aren’t improving with diet or lifestyle changes, then I recommend you consider getting Feminade’s hormone profiling done. The results are informative and actionable.
This is why I’m excited to share that from now until February 28th, using the code PROOV on Feminade’s website will get you 10% off the hormone bundle and a FREE Proov Predict and Confirm Kit!
If you have any questions about my experience, I’d love to chat. Feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.