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Before I jump into my experience with Proov, I think it’s best that I give a little background information when it comes to my body and progesterone (especially for my newbie Warriors).
In February 2018 I saw my midwife, who does all of my primary care, and expressed my concern about the length of a few of my cycles. We sat down and discussed things like when I ovulated, if I used OPKs, how long my cycles were on average, etc. I explained to her that I have 27 day cycles and I usually get a peak OPKs anywhere from cycle day 17-19. Because of this discussion she told me to try using OTC progesterone cream after ovulation. I used progesterone cream for a few cycles after and it helped one of those months but the longest luteal phase that I’ve had in a year and a half has been 11 days.
In June, we started to see our fertility specialist and we started to do all types of fertility testing and we came out with the conclusion that maybe my luteal phase was what was keeping us from getting pregnant. So we made the game plan to do a cycle of femara, triggershot and timed intercourse. Because of the trigger shot, a progesterone supplement wasn’t necessary so I kind of forgot about my cream and put it away for the next cycle. Before we even could do that medicated cycle, I got pregnant and when I had my blood test they also tested my progesterone and my levels looked perfect so the concern was totally gone! (If you are new to my blog, I later miscarried but not from a progesterone deficiency)
So last month when Amy Beckley, the developer for Proov Urine Progesterone Test Strips contacted me about testing progesterone at home, I was intrigued because I had always suspected an issue around ovulation even though during pregnancy my levels seemed fine. She sent me two kits, one for me to try and if I liked it, I could share the other with my blog readers in a giveaway. So for this blog post I wanted to share some photos of my test results and share what I’ve learned along the way! Amy has been such a help to me during this process and has educated me every step of the way. She had her own personal battle with infertility, which was the passion behind developing the product and her passion showed in every point of contact with her.
MY EXPERIENCE USING PROOV
I received my product a few days after my peak OPK. I thought about waiting until the next cycle but decided to go ahead and test for the current cycle I was on. I reached out to Amy and she told me that you can confirm ovulation without doing a baseline. A baseline is just for reference since the tests are new and women aren’t always 100% sure what they need to look for. So as a beginner, I would do a baseline if you received your product at the beginning of your cycle.
The first day that I tested was on cycle day 21 (7 days after peak OPK) and I tested first thing in the morning, first urine of the day, and continued to do that for the next few days. I’ve put the findings from my cycle below!
A few things to note about Proov is that you read them opposite how you would read the Easy @ Home OPKs (which I know a lot of us use) so two lines is negative, one line is positive.
Since I was using the test strips to confirm ovulations the directions read:
“A single negative Proof test followed by a single positive test is needed to confirm ovulation. Proov tests are negative prior to ovulation and turn positive 3-7 days after ovulation. To confirm ovulation, suggested testing protocol is:
Test once on cycle day 5, 6, 7, or 8 (Cycle days 1 is defined as the first day of menstrual flow); the test will be negative.
Begin testing again 3 days after peak fertility (Positive OPK/ LH surge or peak cervical mucus observation)
Stop testing when Proov tests turn positive (single line)”
Test Day #1
test day #2
test day #3
Notice that the test line is lighter in today’s test than it was yesterday. That’s a good sign! But this is still considered a negative test.
test day #4
I started to feel a little discouraged after this test because I was now 10 days post peak OPK and still nothing.
Unfortunately, the next day I started spotting and didn’t test because I knew that my period was about to start. I never saw a positive progesterone urine test strip and although I started testing a bit later than I would have liked to, I still should have seen a positive between 7-10 days after peak fertility. The test on November 18th was allllllllmost positive but not quite. It does suggest that I ovulated, just that I didn't produce enough progesterone. Then on November 19th my progesterone very obviously decreases (you can tell because the test line gets a bit darker). Usually a drop in progesterone means your period is going to arrive. So, the Proov test strips actually alerted me of your upcoming cycle. Because of my luteal phase defect, these results aren’t shocking and are actually considered “normal” for having the defect. You can see a chart of the progesterone patterns here.
For those of you who have followed me for awhile, you know that I’ve tried progesterone cream and had some success with it but not much. Amy actually told me that her professional opinion of the cream is that it’s pointless to use because the dosage is too weak. So it may be worth it to ask your doctor for prescription strength progesterone supplements. Next cycle we are using Femara which is known to give a “stronger ovulation” which is why some doctors think that progesterone isn’t needed but some women do need more. I’m actually going to talk to my reproductive endocrinologist about this next week before our medicated cycle! I also plan on taking the urine progesterone tests at home anyway just to check on my levels and get an inside look at what’s going on in my body.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE PRODUCT
Before using the test strips, I had no idea that you could even test your urine for progesterone. Maybe I was a little under educated but this was never given to me as an option before Amy sent me an email. I think that having the option to test your progesterone levels at home is amazing because there seems to be an issue with doctors prescribing progesterone without trying 92834827 other things first. When I go see my doctor this week, I’ll be able to bring photos of my test strips and show my concern with evidence. That makes me feel better and it may help my doctors understand that there could be an underlying issue here.
One thing I wish that I had done differently is wait until the next cycle to start testing because I wasn’t able to start testing to confirm ovulation until 7 days past peak OPK and the packaging says to start 3-4 days after. Now, it’s probably not likely that my progesterone levels would have been positive that early so I don’t know what a difference it would have made but the next cycle I use them, I will start with a baseline and test as the directions say. I think I was just too eager to test because like I mentioned in a comment above, i’ve suspected a progesterone issue since I was pregnant.
WOULD I USE THEM AGAIN?
Absolutely! I’m actually putting in an order for another box today! I really enjoyed using them and although I didn’t get the response that I wanted, I think that this product will actually give me peace of mind.
WHERE CAN YOU BUY PROOV?
WHAT I’VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY
I mentioned above that Amy Beckley, the developer for Proov, reached out to me and was so willing to educate me on what exactly the test strip for that day meant. Below are some interesting facts about progesterone and what certain results could mean. I found this so helpful!
Women usually become positive (on their Proov test) 4-7 days after the LH surge
Always test with morning urine (just like with OPKs and HpT)
Since the progesterone needs to be elevated at the time of implantation and implantation doesn’t happen until 7-10 days after LH surge, it is perfectly normal to not get a positive until 8 days after LH surge
Because I didn’t start testing until 7 days past peak OPK, Amy explained to me that a baseline in my case would have been great so we can tell if the progesterone level is at least rising by looking at the fading of the test line.
A negative progesterone after LH surge either means that I didn’t ovulate or that my ovulation was insufficient