Your hormones are powerful actors in your body. They regulate and impact important systems throughout your entire body. Hormones are often referred to as “chemical messengers”- they communicate with the rest of your body to influence things like metabolism, growth, sleep, mood, sex drive, and more. They also play a vital role in your fertility. Your menstrual cycle sheds light on how your reproductive hormones are functioning. Getting to know your cycle is a great way to learn about your hormone health and truly understand what’s going on with your fertility profile.
To get the most out of tracking your cycle, it is important to know the role that hormones play in the process. The menstrual cycle begins with a release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), causing follicles to grow in a woman’s ovaries. An egg develops in the biggest follicle. This follicle begins to release estrogen as it grows. The release of estrogen causes the uterine lining to thicken, providing the best environment for a fertilized egg to implant and grow. The spike in estrogen then informs the brain to release luteinizing hormone (LH), which causes the egg to move from the ovary to the uterus. This process is called ovulation. Women can conceive during this time if an egg is released. All of these hormones come together each cycle to facilitate ovulation and best prepare the body for pregnancy. Your cycle provides a window into the behavior of these hormones, and how they are acting in your body.
One common hormone to track is luteinizing hormone (LH). LH peaks right before ovulation- a surge of this hormone usually means that an egg will be released in the next 24-36 hours.
This usually happens about midway through the cycle- however, knowing the exact day that you LH levels peak is critical, as this is your most fertile time. The timing of LH surge will vary from person to person, and cycle tracking is the best way to ensure that you don’t miss this window. Another important hormone to track is progesterone. This hormone peaks after you ovulate to help thicken the uterine lining and ensure the best environment for implantation. Progesterone is vital to track, because it will only surge if an egg was actually released. For a multitude of reasons, LH may surge but no egg will be released. Tracking progesterone is the only way to know if you actually ovulated that cycle. Learning about how these hormones are behaving in your body will provide you with the full picture of your fertile window.
The question is, what’s the best way to track your cycle? The answer lies in science backed hormone measurements. To understand your fertility profile, it’s important to gather quantitative hormone measurements. When you can see your exact hormone levels, you can learn the nuances of your cycle and the details of your fertility profile.
Cycle tracking allows you to understand your fertility profile by showing you what’s going on with your reproductive hormones. It lets you know if, and when, you are ovulating each month- a crucial part of timing intercourse or insemination. It can also show you if you have a hormonal imbalance, which impacts ovulation and implantation. Everyone’s cycle is different- that’s why it’s important to learn about your unique hormone levels, and take action from there. Knowing what’s going on with your body will give you confidence and control over your fertility journey.
Oova is an at-home fertility test that measures LH and progesterone quantitatively. Merging exact hormone measurements with a smartphone app, Oova provides users with all the data they need to understand her cycle.