How do I test my progesterone levels?
There are two main ways to test progesterone: a serum progesterone blood test or a PdG (progesterone metabolite) urine test. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s best to understand how each could help you.
Serum progesterone blood test
Serum progesterone blood tests are taken on cycle day 21, about 7 days post ovulation when progesterone levels should be high. While progesterone blood tests give a quantitative progesterone level and can confirm ovulation, they one show your levels at that single point in time. This can be a problem since, as we know, progesterone needs to remain elevated for several days during the luteal phase in order to allow for the best possible chance at conception.
Additionally, a single progesterone blood test may provide you with inaccurate assumptions about your levels depending on when you take it. Studies
show that serum progesterone levels fluctuate drastically — up to 8 fold in a single 90-minute time period for the same healthy patient! That means if you get a blood draw in the morning, you could get very different results than if you were to test in the afternoon.
While serum progesterone blood tests are effective at confirming whether or not you ovulated, they fall short of showing your levels over time in order to ensure the best possible chance at conception. Which brings us to PdG testing.
Pregnanediol Glucuronide (or PdG for short) is the main urinary metabolite of progesterone. After progesterone circulates through the bloodstream, it is metabolized by the liver and released from the body as PdG in urine. Studies
show that PdG levels in first morning urine show an average of all progesterone blood levels from the previous day.
Additionally, testing PdG in urine is non-invasive, meaning you can easily track your levels for the critical days during the luteal phase. Testing multiple days in a row can give you a better idea of your levels over time and your chances at conception. Proov PdG tests
are the first and only CE marked PdG tests to confirm successful ovulation at home. Proov PdG tests are non-invasive, meaning you can easily test your levels for several days from the comfort of your own bathroom. Successful ovulation refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg was released and PdG levels remained adequately elevated for long enough to allow for the best possible chance at conception.
Our patented testing protocol recommends testing on days 7, 8, 9, and 10 past peak fertility (i.e. a positive LH test). While a single positive PdG test confirms an egg was released, we like to see 3-4 positive PdG tests during this window (with a positive on day 10) to confirm that successful ovulation
did in fact occur. If you get anything less than 3 positive PdG tests or do not get a positive on day 10, this could be a sign of “weak” ovulation or low PdG levels which could make it more difficult to conceive.