Progesterone blood test
Taken approximately one week after ovulation occurs and is checked to ensure that the progesterone level rises as it should after ovulation.
Often done in conjunction with the Ultrasound Follicular Tracking.
What is a Serum Progesterone Test?
- Progesterone is a hormone that affects a woman’s ability to become and remain pregnant.
- A serum progesterone test measures the level of progesterone in your blood.
- Abnormally high or low progesterone levels can be a sign of several health problems.
Progesterone is a hormone which the female body produces to conceive. The Progesterone hormone is formed in the ovaries, hence women produce this hormone and have considerably higher levels of progesterone compared to men. A Progesterone Blood Test calculates the amount of progesterone levels in the bloodstream. While in case of men, the role of Progesterone hormone is to create or generate sperms also called as spermatogenesis.
In women, if the body has good levels of Progesterone, she can conceive easily while fluctuating high or low levels of Progesterone is an indication of health issues that might arise. In women, progesterone hormone helps the uterus to create fertilized eggs. Healthy levels of Progesterone helps to survive the pregnancy. Progesterone suppresses ability to produce milk during pregnancy. When a woman is about to deliver or is in labor, the progesterone levels considerably drop, to generate the milk production.
To check the progesterone levels in your blood, your doctor can suggest you to go for a serum progesterone test also called as progesterone blood test. This test is done if you are experiencing difficulty to conceive. The test results can reveal information to know if you are ovulating or not, which helps to investigate and treat the fertility issues. Your doctor might recommend you to undergo this test if your pregnant and to rule out the threat of possible chances of ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
Ectopic pregnancy results when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the fallopian tubule, abdominal cavity, or cervix, rather than to your uterus. Miscarriage happens when you lose a fetus during early pregnancy as a result of low progesterone levels.
How should you prepare for a serum progesterone test?
To perform a serum progesterone test, your doctor will collect samples of your blood and send to a laboratory for diagnosis. It’s suggested that you tell your doctor if your taking any medication or any birth control pills might alter the test results.
Some drugs, like blood thinners, can increase the chances of your risk of complications from the blood collected. And your doctor might suggest you to quit some medications before your blood sample is collected.
Risks associated with serum progesterone test?
There are some minor risks associated with serum progesterone test when the blood is collected or drawn. When the needle is pierced into the vein to draw blood, and minor pain is experienced when the needle is drawn out, a small bruise can be seen at the puncture site.
However chances of major serious arising is quite rare.Some of them include minor pain and irritation or swelling of the vein, or some infection at the puncture site. If you have abnormal or a bleeding disorder, the chances of risk of blood draw increases.
What do your test results indicate?
Progesterone levels are measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). After the blood is draw and the results are out, the reports are sent to the doctor. The results shall vary depending on various factors like age, gender, history of your menstrual cycle, etc.
If it’s a woman who is in her periods or menstruates, your blood progesterone levels must be low at the commencement of each menstrual cycle. It will be at the peaks after you ovulate and then the levels are back to low ,except if you have conceived.
Normal test results
Typically, normal serum progesterone test results fall in the following ranges:
- men, postmenopausal women, and women at the beginning of their menstrual cycle: 1 ng/mL or under
- women in the middle of their menstrual cycle: 5 to 20 ng/mL
- pregnant women in their first trimester: 11.2 to 90 ng/mL
- pregnant women in their second trimester: 25.6 to 89.4 ng/mL
- pregnant women in their third trimester: 48.4 to 42.5 ng/mL
Abnormal test results
Your test results are considered abnormal if the ranges fall above or outside the normal ranges. In some cases, a single abnormal test result reflects normal fluctuations in your progesterone levels.
Your progesterone levels can fluctuate a lot, even over the course of a single day. In other cases, abnormally high or low progesterone levels could be an indication of some underlying health issues.
In addition to pregnancy, high progesterone levels can be caused by:
- ovarian cancer
- adrenal cancer
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a group of disorders that affect your adrenal gland
Low progesterone levels can be caused by:
- lack of periods
- failure to ovulate
- ectopic pregnancy
- fetal death