Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and CEO of Proov — a women’s health company dedicated to helping women unleash the power of their cycle hormones to live and feel their best.
Most people trying to conceive (TTC) are familiar with many methods for predicting ovulation - ovulation tests, cervical mucus monitoring, and basal body temperature, just to name a few. These methods help couples know when they’re fertile, so they can time intercourse appropriately.
However, confirming ovulation is just as important (if not more so) as predicting it! While your body may gear up to ovulate, it doesn't always succeed - and if it doesn't succeed, that means an egg wasn't actually released and you're still waiting on ovulation. This is more common in people with PCOS, those who are in perimenopause, and even those who are postpartum.
Luckily, there are two methods for confirming ovulation at home: basal body temperature (BBT) tracking and PdG testing. Keep reading to learn about both methods and how they can help you get pregnant faster!
Confirming Ovulation with BBT
Using BBT to chart your cycle involves tracking the slight changes that occur in your body’s lowest resting temperature (basal body temperature) before and after ovulation.
After ovulation occurs, BBT will sharply rise - usually by about 0.5-1 degree Fahrenheit - and will remain elevated for the rest of the cycle. When you chart your temperature measurements, this is usually relatively easy to see (see the screenshot on the left), but using a method to determine where to put a coverline will make it even easier to see!
The increase in BBT after ovulation is caused by a rise in the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is only produced by the ovary after ovulation occurs; the ovary will not produce progesterone if an egg hasn’t been released. So, a spike in BBT caused by an increase in progesterone indicates that ovulation has occurred.
Confirming Ovulation with PdG
As we just mentioned, the hormone progesterone is only produced after ovulation has occurred. It makes sense then that testing progesterone levels after suspected ovulation can confirm whether or not ovulation has actually occurred.
However, testing progesterone requires a blood test usually from your doctor or in a mail-away kit. And of course, these tests require a needle — ouch!
Luckily, there is a more convenient, non-invasive way to confirm ovulation: PdG! PdG (pregnanediol glucuronide) is a marker of progesterone found in urine. PdG is only present in urine when progesterone is also present in blood and studies show their levels correlate.
PdG can be measured via at-home urine-based test strips. A single positive PdG test confirms that ovulation did in fact occur. Much easier!
Do I need to track both BBT and PdG?
Together, BBT and PdG provide the full ovulation picture, which is especially important while trying to conceive. You can choose to confirm ovulation occurred with either BBT or PdG, or both.
BBT is an awesome, easy method for confirming ovulation - and Tempdrop makes it even easier by ensuring you don't have to wake up early every morning and worry about disturbances!
Additionally, tracking PdG levels after ovulation can give insight into the overall quality of your ovulation and chances of conception.
You see, progesterone’s job during the second half of the cycle is to prepare the uterus for implantation and pregnancy by making it “sticky” enough for an embryo to attach comfortably. Without enough progesterone, for a long enough period, during the second half of the cycle, it can be more difficult to successfully conceive.
While BBT can help you confirm whether or not ovulation occurred, studies* show that after the initial confirmation of ovulation, BBT and progesterone levels no longer correlate. This means BBT is not the best sign to use if you're trying to evaluate your progesterone levels after ovulation.
Which is why you should also track PdG! Since PdG is a marker of progesterone, tracking PdG levels during the all-important implantation window - the time during which the uterus is receptive to an embryo - can ensure your levels are sufficient when trying to conceive.
Using Tempdrop and Proov to Get Pregnant Faster!
Tempdrop and Proov together ensure you have the right tools at your fingertips to get as much information about your ovulation as possible, so you can reach your goals faster!
BBT tracking is most powerful when used over time. After several cycles, you’ll be able to confirm ovulation and accurately pinpoint the start of your next fertile window. Enter Tempdrop! Tempdrop allows you to track your BBT overnight, while you sleep, to develop temperature patterns over the course of a few months. It learns your unique temperature patterns so you can more accurately predict the fertile window and confirm ovulation.
Then, Proov Confirm — the first and only FDA cleared PdG test — can help you track PdG levels over time to confirm “high quality” ovulation. This means ovulation occurred and PdG levels remained adequately elevated through the oh-so-important implantation window. Plus, the free Proov Insight app makes interpreting your results and tracking your data even easier!
Don't forget the code Tempdrop20 for 20% off Confirm kits, Predict & Confirm, Balancing Oil, Luteal Love, and Balance Bundle!
The more information you have, the better set you’ll be on your TTC journey. With Tempdrop and Proov, you can be set up for success!