Why test for Progesterone?
Progesterone is released after ovulation and is the hormone that helps prepare the uterus for conception. Progesterone also acts to maintain the uterine lining to support the pregnancy after the fertilized egg implants. Progesterone levels must be at a certain level to ensure proper ovulation is taking place and the uterus is ready to receive the fertilized embryo.
Benefits of Progesterone Testing?
By monitoring progesterone levels, you can determine if you are ovulating properly. Since the main cause of infertility is lack of ovulation, monitoring progesterone could help you to detect hormonal imbalance that causes infertility. Progesterone is also essential for supporting a pregnancy, so monitoring your levels may help you detect hormonal imbalances that cause early pregnancy loss. Finally, tracking progesterone is also good for general wellbeing. Low progesterone can cause dry skin, brittle nails, fatigue, weight gain, PMS, long/heavy periods, hair loss, acne, migraines, and endometriosis.
Hormones involved in Ovulation and Pregnancy
Sometimes getting and staying pregnant is difficult. It can take months—even years. But most women don’t know that imbalances in their hormones may be the reason why. See, the menstrual cycle relies on a series of four main hormones: FSH, LH, estrogen, and progesterone. At the beginning of each cycle, FSH, or follicle-stimulating hormone, signals the ovaries to start follicle growth. Each follicle contains an egg. The growing follicle makes estrogen to prepare the uterus for pregnancy. Increased estrogen causes a sudden rise in LH, or luteinizing hormone.
LH causes the follicle to rupture, releasing the egg to be fertilized. The follicle then releases the final hormone, progesterone. Progesterone builds the uterine wall, so it may house and protect the growing fetus. If the egg isn’t fertilized, progesterone and estrogen levels decrease. Without progesterone, the uterine wall breaks down, menstrual bleeding begins, and the cycle starts all over. If the egg is fertilized, estrogen and progesterone levels remain high in order to support the growing fetus. Adequate progesterone levels are essential for both getting pregnant and supporting a healthy pregnancy.
As you can see, each of the four hormones plays a very specific role. The most common cause of infertility is imbalances in one or more of these four hormones; which is why it’s important to track your own hormone levels throughout your cycle. An ovulation predictor kit (OPK) can only be used to predict ovulation. In order to determine if your hormone levels are adequate to support a pregnancy, you need to test for estrogen and progesterone as well. MFB Fertility wants to provide women with affordable ways to test all hormones in their cycle at home. That’s why we were the first to develop a fast and easy-to-use home test to track progesterone. And we aren’t stopping there; more tests are on the way! Visit www.MFBFertility.com to learn more. And start tracking your cycle with confidence.
Common Causes of Miscarriage and Ways to Prevent Them
10-25% of all clinical pregnancies will end in miscarriage. The most common cause of pregnancy loss is chromosomal abnormalities, which means, something is just not right with the baby’s DNA. This type of loss is not preventable. Other common causes of miscarriage include hormonal problems, infections, and structural problems within the mother and can sometimes be prevented. Your doctor can check your cervix and uterus for any abnormalities, screen you for clotting disorders that can prevent implantation, make sure you are current on all your vaccinations, and check your hormone levels. Diabetes, low thyroid and low progesterone can all cause pregnancy loss. Things you can do at home to prevent miscarriage include not smoking, drinking alcohol, or using drugs; maintaining a healthy weight and keeping diabetes under control; and monitoring your progesterone levels with urine progesterone test strips.
The Proper Time to Start Progesterone Supplements
Progesterone has an essential role in preparing the uterus to both receive the embryo and support its growth for the next 9 months. Low progesterone levels are a common cause of early pregnancy loss. If levels are too low, the embryo may not implant in the uterus properly. With the help of your doctor, progesterone levels can be supplemented via prescription strength progesterone. Since implantation typically occurs 7-10 days after ovulation, this type of supplementation is most effective when started 3-5 days after ovulation, so the uterus is ready to receive the embryo. Therefore, we suggest using urine progesterone tests to monitor progesterone levels at home. If levels are low, speak to your physician about adding progesterone supplements after ovulation.
Symptoms of Low Progesterone
If you are having trouble getting pregnant, staying pregnant, have long or irregular menstrual cycles, or were diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), you could be suffering from a progesterone deficiency. The following are four signs of low progesterone:
- spotting one or more days before your full period begins
- a short luteal phase, which is defined as less than ten days between ovulation and the start of your next period
- Adult acne, brittle nails or dry cracking skin
- Lack of energy, low sex drive, and mood swings.
If you are having trouble conceiving or have suffered from a miscarriage, you should check to see if your progesterone levels are low. Your doctor can order a progesterone test or you can test your progesterone levels at home using urine progesterone test strips.
Top 3 Causes of Infertility
1 in 8 couples in the United States are infertile. Both men and women can be the source of infertility. These are the top 3 causes of infertility and account for 66% of all cases:
Reason #1: An Ovulation Disorder – If an egg is not released, conception is impossible. Progesterone is released after ovulation. Monitoring progesterone levels can confirm whether ovulation occurred and help determine if levels are high enough to support a pregnancy.
Reasons #2 and #3: Low sperm count and poor sperm quality. If sperm is inadequate and or isn’t moving it can’t get to the egg. Sperm analysis provides an assessment of male fertility potential.
You can now monitor both the woman’s progesterone levels and the man’s sperm quality at home. The Ovulation Double Check test measures urine progesterone levels and the YO Home Sperm test measures moving sperm using a Smartphone. Infertility is a couple’s journey…take that journey together and test for the three most common causes of infertility in men and women in the comfort of your home. Visit www.mfbfertility.com and www.YOSpermtest.com for more information