Know Your Hormones Cycle

Read this blog written by the founder of Proov to learn more about the hormones linked to your fertility and tips on how to follow them to concieve.

Written by Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm successful ovulation at home.

If you are trying to conceive, you’ve probably thought about your hormones. These little chemical messengers help your body complete important actions. In your reproductive system, your hormones regulate your cycle, ovulation and help you conceive.

The more you know about the hormones in your cycle and what can affect them, the better equipped you’ll be for conception! Keep reading to learn more.

A quick low-down on your cycle

Before we dive into the hormones, let’s quickly recap the phases of your cycle. There are two main phases — follicular and luteal. Your follicular phase lasts from the first day of your period through ovulation, and the luteal phase starts after ovulation and ends right before your period begins. 

Leading up to, including the day of, ovulation is the only time during your cycle when conception (i.e. egg meeting sperm) is possible. This is referred to as the fertile window.

After fertilization, it takes a new embryo about 6 to 7 days to travel through the fallopian tube and into the uterus, where it will then find a comfy place to implant into the uterine lining. The implantation window — the time when your uterine lining will be receptive to an embryo — lasts from about days 7 through 10 after ovulation. 

It is your hormones that help regulate your cycle to ensure it’s healthy and allows for the best possible chance at conception.

What are the important hormones in my cycle?

While there are many hormones involved in our menstrual cycles, there are three main ones to pay attention to when trying to conceive: estrogen, luteinizing hormone (LH), and progesterone. These hormones help regulate ovulation and are necessary for conception. 

Here’s some quick information about each:


Estrogen is the hormone that is dominant during the first half of your cycle. Its job is to thicken your uterine lining in preparation for implantation and pregnancy. 

As the follicles on your ovaries grow and mature in preparation for ovulation, they start producing estrogen. Once one follicle becomes dominant and is ready to release an egg, estrogen will reach an elevated level that signals to the brain that it’s time to ovulate. 

Because of this, a rise in estrogen opens your fertile window — the only time during your cycle when conception is actually possible. You can measure your estrogen levels during the first half of your cycle with a urine-based E1G (estrogen metabolite) test. 

Luteinizing hormone

Next up in your cycle is luteinizing hormone. After estrogen reaches a certain level and signals to the brain that it’s time for ovulation, the brain sends an LH surge that triggers the mature follicle to release an egg (i.e. triggering ovulation). 

Without an LH surge, ovulation will not occur. You can track your LH levels to detect a surge using an ovulation test (also called an LH test or an ovulation predictor kit).

Once you get a positive LH test, you have identified your two most fertile days. This is the critical time to try!


Progesterone is the dominant hormone during the second half of your cycle and is necessary for implantation. After ovulation occurs, the empty follicle from which the egg was released (also called the corpus luteum) starts producing progesterone. 

Its job is to stabilize the already thickened uterine lining and make it “sticky” enough for an embryo to implant. Basically, progesterone is what makes your uterine lining receptive to an embryo. 

In order to allow for the best possible chance at implantation and pregnancy, progesterone needs to rise and remain elevated for the duration of the previously mentioned implantation window. If progesterone doesn’t reach a high enough level or drops too soon following ovulation, it can be more difficult to get pregnant. 

While you can measure progesterone via a serum blood test, these tests only show your levels at one point in time. This can be problematic since we know that progesterone needs to remain elevated for the entire implantation window. 

Instead, you can non-invasively measure progesterone levels via its urine metabolite, Pregnanediol Glucuronide (PdG). Proov Confirm is the first and only FDA-cleared PdG test kit to confirm successful ovulation at home.

Successful ovulation refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg is released, and PdG levels remain adequately elevated for long enough to allow for the best possible chance at conception. We like to see elevated PdG levels on days 7-10 past peak fertility (i.e. a positive LH test) to confirm that successful ovulation did, in fact occur, and your levels are good to go!

What impacts our hormones?

When trying to conceive, ensuring you have healthy reproductive hormone levels is a necessary first step. After all, without healthy hormones, it can be harder to get pregnant!

Consulting your doctor or trying at-home urine-based hormone tests are both great places to start. Additionally, understanding which external factors may impact your hormone levels can help make changes to improve them, if necessary.


When our bodies are under chronic stress — whether that be emotional, physical, or psychological — they produce more cortisol (the stress hormone). Cortisol and progesterone are produced on the same hormone pathway. When we’re in need of more cortisol, our bodies may “steal” progesterone from the reproductive system in order to produce more. 

Household chemicals

Some household products, including cosmetics, lotions, food packaging, and cleaners, may contain chemicals that can mimic estrogen, throwing your hormones out of balance. Many of these chemicals have been linked to infertility in both women and men.


While moderate and consistent exercise is recommended for overall health and hormone health, beware of overdoing it. Overexercising and activities such as Crossfit or marathon training can put unwanted physical stress on your body. This, in turn, increases cortisol levels which, as we saw above, may inhibit progesterone production.

Diet: A balanced diet that incorporates healthy fats, protein, fruits, and veggies is essential to promoting healthy hormones. It’s important to look out for foods that may contain excess estrogen, like soybeans, tofu, or soy milk. If you’re in need of a progesterone boost, some foods have been shown to increase progesterone production, such as kale, spinach, and beans. 

Proov is the only FDA-approved at-home ovulation test kit. It allows you to track your levels of progesterone (PdG) to help increase your chances of conception from 19% to over 92%! For our Mighty Markers, Proov has been kind enough to offer $5 off an FDA-approved at-home successful ovulation test. Get yours today by clicking here!