Our very own co founder, Tracey, experienced several miscarriages during her 10 year journey to become pregnant. On her final IVF that created her miracle twin daughters, amongst other aspects, she supplemented her progesterone levels. To this day, she wonders if that helped her to conceive and maintain her miracle twin IVF babies.
Being extremely curious about the absolute importance of progesterone, we were so excited to find out about Proov, a company that has launched an ovulation/progesterone home test and we wanted to know more.
The founder of Proov, Amy Beckley, has a PhD in pharmacology, and has created this test due to her own fertility journey and experience. Here, Amy shares her story and why this fantastic test now exists.
When my husband and I were ready to have children, we did what many couples do — we bought a slightly too big a house in a family-friendly neighbourhood. I stopped my birth control, I started taking a prenatal, and we began trying.
What followed is the unfortunate reality for far too many couples: I suffered 7 early miscarriages, but had to wait the standard 12 months of trying or 3 pregnancy losses before a fertility doctor would even see me. (That’s right: 3 pregnancy losses.)
I was almost certain that I was having a hormonal imbalance, because my luteal phase was shorter than I would have wanted it to be. They were always testing my progesterone levels 7 days after suspected ovulation, the standard one single blood test to confirm ovulation occurred. Which we already knew it was the case, since I was getting pregnant!
Yet my fertility doctor diagnosed me with unexplained infertility and recommended IVF.
So my husband and I, now desperate, saved tens of thousands of dollars and pursued IVF.
When the first cycle did not result in a successful pregnancy, we saved even more money for a second round.
Thankfully, this cycle blessed us with our son, Cash. We use to joke we called him Cash because he literally took all our Cash.
I always knew I wanted more kids; it had been my dream. After 2 IVF cycles I also knew, however, that I could not do IVF again — whether it be for the strain it put on our bank account, our marriage, or my mind and body.
I was determined to get answers
Luckily, as a PhD scientist with a background in hormone tracking, I had the tools and knowledge to get to the bottom of my so-called unexplained infertility.
And that I did! The only thing that was different between my IVF cycles and my natural pregnancies was the fact that after embryo transfer I was put on Progesterone supplements to support my luteal phase. This actually matched my previous idea, that I must have a Progesterone deficiency causing my short luteal phases. And it started to dawn on me that maybe that one single blood test was not the best of markers in detecting a potential luteal phase issue.
Basically I wasn’t producing enough of a critical hormone, progesterone, for long enough after ovulation to allow me for the best possible chance at conception AND at staying pregnant. And since Progesterone in blood fluctuates a lot, one single blood test can’t detect suboptimal levels throughout the implantation window.
What many people don’t know is that progesterone is essential for pregnancy
During the second half of your cycle, progesterone makes the uterine lining “sticky” enough to allow for implantation. Without enough progesterone during the critical implantation window, the uterine lining may not be receptive to an embryo and pregnancy may not happen. Or, if it does, it may end up in early miscarriage, as in my case.
Empowered with this new information, I went back to my doctor who was able to prescribe me a $200 hormone supplement. After just two cycles on the supplement, I conceived naturally again and carried a healthy baby to term.
My daughter Dylan is now 8 years old. She is my Progesterone miracle
After having Dylan, I kept wondering how many other women suffered from problems with ovulation and could benefit from information about their ovulation. As it would turn out, ovulatory disorders are the cause of infertility in 1 in 4 infertile couples. Yet, often they’re one of the easiest issues to resolve.
So I decided to do something about it. I invented Proov Confirm, the first and only FDA cleared PdG test kit to confirm successful ovulation at home. PdG is a urine marker of progesterone and, like progesterone, must be present at an adequate amount for long enough after ovulation to allow for the best possible chance at conception. Unlike serum Progesterone, PdG is measured in early morning urine and gives you more of an average of your levels in blood during the previous 24 hours.
Not only do Proov PdG tests confirm whether or not you ovulated, the patented Proov PdG testing protocol helps you assess your overall PdG levels during the oh-so critical implantation window (days 7-10 past peak fertility). If your levels are good, you can be confident that problems with ovulation aren’t preventing you from conceiving and staying pregnant. On the other hand, if low Pdg levels are hurting your chances at conception, the fix is often simple.
I invented Proov to empower women with critical information about their ovulation and their cycle to help them move forward. The hundreds of Proov pregnancies we are happy to report today, the joy that comes with every positive pregnancy test our customers share with us, are a constant reminder to me that I made the right choice.
Have you been experiencing issues conceiving? Have you tested your progesterone levels? Would you like to know more about this? Get in touch with Proov here or with one of our team at firstname.lastname@example.org
What I wish I’d known about my infertility, by Tracey Bambrough
The post Progesterone helped an infertile scientist conceive — and it may help you too appeared first on IVF Babble.
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