A test to helps determine the cause of infertility, track ovulation; help diagnose an ectopic or failing pregnancy.
|Preparation||No Fasting required.|
|Test Results||1-2 days|
Testing women for progesterone levels may help pinpoint ovulation in fertility treatment. Periodic hormone tests also help physicians determine the success of hormone replacement therapies and whether they are necessary to support pregnancy. Serial measurements may be taken to diagnose or monitor certain medical conditions in non-pregnant women as well. Estrogen and progesterone supplements may affect test results
Why Test Is Used
Progesterone testing measures the concentration of the hormone, progesterone present in a blood sample, and may be ordered for the following reasons:
How does it work?
A temporary gland within the ovary, known as the corpus luteum, produces progesterone. During a woman’s menstrual cycle progesterone levels begin to rise with the release of an egg from the ovary. If conception occurs, hormone levels increase throughout the pregnancy. If it does not, menstruation occurs and progesterone decreases. Concentration of progesterone can be measured in a blood sample.
Increased progesterone levels could indicate the following:
Ovarian cancer (rare form)
Adrenal gland dysfunction
Decreased progesterone levels:
Failure to menstruate
Decreased ovarian function
Progesterone is a steroid hormone with a molecular weight of 314.5 daltons.2 Progesterone is mainly formed in the cells of the corpus luteum and during pregnancy in the placenta. Progesterone is increased in congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase, 17-hydroxylase, and 11-β-hydroxylase deficiency. Progesterone is decreased in primary or secondary hypogonadism and short luteal phase syndrome.
The progesterone concentration correlates with the development and regression of the corpus luteum. Whereas progesterone is barely detectable in the follicular phase of the female cycle, a rise in the progesterone level is observed one day prior to ovulation. Increased progesterone synthesis occurs during the luteal phase. In the second half of the cycle pregnanediol is excreted in urine as the main degradation product of progesterone.
Progesterone brings about the conversion of the uterine mucosa into a tissue rich in glands (secretion phase), in order to prepare for the intrauterine implantation of the fertilized ovum. During pregnancy, progesterone inhibits the contraction of the myometrium. In the mammary gland, progesterone (together with estrogens) promotes the proliferation and secretion disposition of the alveoli.2,3
The determination of progesterone is utilized in fertility diagnosis for the detection of ovulation and assessment of the luteal phase.3,4