Progesterone, Immunoassay Most Popular

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The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Progesterone Immunoassay


Serum progesterone is a test to measure the amount of progesterone in the blood. Progesterone is a hormone produced mainly in the ovaries. In women, progesterone plays a vital role in pregnancy. After an egg is released by the ovaries (ovulation), progesterone helps make the uterus ready for implantation of a fertilized egg. It prepares the womb (uterus) for pregnancy and the breasts for milk production. Men produce some amount of progesterone, but it probably has no normal function except to help produce other steroid hormones.
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The Progesterone, Immunoassay test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Progesterone test measures the levels of progesterone, a hormone produced by the ovaries in women and a small amount by the adrenal glands in both men and women. Progesterone plays a crucial role in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and maintaining a healthy reproductive system. The Progesterone test provides valuable information about hormonal balance and helps diagnose and monitor various reproductive conditions.

Important: For patients under 18 years old, Progesterone, Immunoassay reference ranges have not been established for pre-pubertal patients. For pre-pubertal patients, Progesterone, LC/MS/MS #171183 is recommended.

Also Known As: PGSN Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

Note: DHEA supplementation causes a false elevation of values in this standard Immunoassay method for Progesterone. Physicians using Progesterone levels as a criterion for triggering ovulation in an IVF cycle in patients supplemented with DHEA should assess Progesterone levels using a Progesterone LC/MS/MS #17183.

When is a Progesterone test ordered?

A Progesterone test may be ordered in several situations to assess progesterone levels:

  1. Evaluation of Ovulation: The test is often ordered to confirm ovulation in women who are trying to conceive or to determine the cause of infertility.

  2. Monitoring Fertility Treatments: For women undergoing fertility treatments, the Progesterone test helps assess the adequacy of progesterone support during different phases of the treatment cycle.

  3. Evaluation of Menstrual Irregularities: When women experience irregular menstrual cycles, heavy or prolonged bleeding, or other menstrual abnormalities, a Progesterone test helps evaluate progesterone levels and identify potential causes.

  4. Assessment of Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the Progesterone test may be ordered to monitor progesterone levels and ensure appropriate hormone support for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

What does a Progesterone blood test check for?

Progesterone is a steroid hormone that aids a woman's body in preparing for pregnancy. It interacts with a number of other female hormones. The level of progesterone in the blood is measured with this test.

The hormone estrogen causes the endometrium, the uterine lining, to grow and renew itself on a monthly basis, while a surge in luteinizing hormone causes an egg to be released from one of two ovaries. At the place where the egg was released, a corpus luteum forms in the ovary and begins to generate progesterone. Endometrial growth is halted by this progesterone, which is supplemented by modest amounts produced by the adrenal glands, and the uterus is prepared for the probable implantation of a fertilized egg.

The corpus luteum deteriorates, progesterone levels decline, and menstrual bleeding begins if fertilization does not occur. The corpus luteum continues to produce progesterone after a fertilized egg is placed in the uterus, and the egg forms a trophoblast that produces human chorionic gonadotropin. After a few weeks, the placenta takes over as the main source of progesterone from the corpus luteum, producing rather significant amounts of the hormone for the duration of the pregnancy.

Males produce progesterone as well, although at a considerably lesser level. Its role is to aid in the formation of sperm.

Lab tests often ordered with a Progesterone test:

When a healthcare provider orders a progesterone test, they may also order additional tests to get a comprehensive view of a person's hormonal balance and reproductive health. Here's a list of common tests ordered alongside a progesterone test and the reasons why they are ordered:

  1. Estradiol (E2):

    • Purpose: To measure the levels of estradiol, a form of estrogen, which works in conjunction with progesterone to regulate menstrual cycles and maintain pregnancies.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate menstrual cycle irregularities, fertility issues, symptoms of menopause, or the health of a pregnancy.
  2. Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH):

    • Purpose: FSH is involved in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and stimulates the growth of eggs in the ovaries.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To determine a woman’s ovarian reserve and to assess menstrual irregularities or fertility problems.
  3. Luteinizing Hormone (LH):

    • Purpose: LH helps regulate the menstrual cycle and triggers ovulation—the release of an egg from the ovary.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To help identify the time of ovulation for fertility planning or to investigate disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or amenorrhea (absence of menstruation).
  4. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG):

    • Purpose: hCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To confirm pregnancy and monitor the development of the pregnancy in conjunction with progesterone levels.
  5. Prolactin:

    • Purpose: Prolactin is a hormone that can affect menstrual function and fertility.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To check for conditions causing infertility or irregular menstrual periods, such as a prolactinoma (a benign pituitary tumor).
  6. Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH):

    • Purpose: TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism and can affect menstrual cycles.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To determine if thyroid function might be affecting menstrual cycles or contributing to infertility.
  7. Testosterone:

    • Purpose: Although commonly associated with males, testosterone levels in women can influence menstrual cycles and fertility.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate symptoms of excess male hormones (androgens), such as hirsutism (excessive hair growth), or to help diagnose conditions like PCOS.
  8. Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG):

    • Purpose: SHBG binds to sex hormones and regulates their access to tissues.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess androgen excess or deficiency, especially in conditions where free (bioavailable) hormone levels are important.
  9. Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH):

    • Purpose: AMH is produced by the ovaries and is a marker of ovarian reserve.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate the quantity of remaining egg supply and fertility potential.
  10. 17-Hydroxyprogesterone:

    • Purpose: This hormone is part of the adrenal hormone production pathway and can be elevated in congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH).
    • Why Is It Ordered: To screen for and monitor CAH or other forms of adrenal dysfunction.

These tests, often performed based on where a woman is in her menstrual cycle or her pregnancy status, can provide valuable information about her reproductive health. The results can help in the assessment and treatment of conditions such as infertility, menstrual disorders, and issues related to pregnancy. The specific tests selected will depend on the individual's circumstances, symptoms, and the information that the healthcare provider is seeking.

Conditions where a Progesterone test is recommended:

A Progesterone test is commonly ordered for:

  1. Evaluation of Ovulation: The test helps confirm the occurrence of ovulation and evaluate progesterone levels in women who are trying to conceive or experiencing fertility issues.

  2. Evaluation of Menstrual Irregularities: Women with irregular menstrual cycles, heavy or prolonged bleeding, or other menstrual abnormalities may require a Progesterone test to evaluate hormonal balance and identify potential causes.

  3. Monitoring Fertility Treatments: Women undergoing fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI), may undergo Progesterone testing to ensure adequate progesterone support during different phases of the treatment cycle.

  4. Assessment of Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the Progesterone test helps monitor progesterone levels, ensuring appropriate hormone support for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

How does my healthcare provider use a Progesterone test?

Healthcare providers use the results of a Progesterone test to:

  1. Assess Hormonal Balance: Progesterone test results provide insights into hormonal balance, particularly progesterone levels, and help healthcare providers evaluate the function of the reproductive system.

  2. Evaluate Ovulation: Progesterone levels help confirm the occurrence of ovulation, which is crucial for fertility and conception.

  3. Monitor Fertility Treatments: The Progesterone test guides healthcare providers in adjusting progesterone support during fertility treatments to optimize the chances of successful conception.

  4. Assess Pregnancy Health: Progesterone levels during pregnancy are important for maintaining a healthy pregnancy. The Progesterone test helps healthcare providers monitor progesterone levels and ensure appropriate hormone support.

By effectively utilizing the results of a Progesterone test, healthcare providers can assess hormonal balance, evaluate ovulation, monitor fertility treatments, assess pregnancy health, and make informed decisions regarding patient care, including fertility interventions, hormonal adjustments, or appropriate pregnancy management.

What do my Progesterone test results mean?

The interpretation of progesterone test results is dependent on the purpose of the test and requires information of a woman's menstrual cycle or pregnancy stage. When an egg is released from the ovary, progesterone levels rise for several days, then either continue to rise with early pregnancy or fall to initiate menstruation.

A woman may not be ovulating or having regular menstrual periods if her progesterone levels do not rise and fall on a monthly basis. This could be a factor in infertility.

The pregnancy may be ectopic and/or failing if levels do not rise properly throughout the first trimester. If successive assessments show no increase in progesterone levels over time, the placenta and fetus' viability may be jeopardized.

Progesterone levels can occasionally rise as a result of:

  • Ovarian cysts can be found in some women.
  • Molar pregnancies are non-viable pregnancies.
  • Ovarian cancer is an uncommon type of cancer that affects the ovaries.
  • The adrenal glands produce too much progesterone.
  • Cancer of the adrenal gland
  • Adrenal hyperplasia is a condition that occurs at birth

Low progesterone levels have been linked to:

  • Toxemia in the third trimester of pregnancy
  • Ovary function is impaired.
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Ectopic pregnancy is a term used to describe a pregnancy
  • Miscarriage or fetal death

Most Common Questions About the Progesterone test:

Understanding the Progesterone Test

What is a Progesterone test?

A Progesterone test measures the level of progesterone, a hormone produced mainly in the ovaries, in your blood. It plays a vital role in preparing the body for pregnancy and maintaining it.

Why would a doctor order a Progesterone test?

A doctor may order a Progesterone test to evaluate ovulatory function, to determine the cause of infertility, to assess the risk of miscarriage, or to monitor the health of a pregnancy. It can also be used to help diagnose an ectopic or failing pregnancy.

Preparation and Procedure

Does taking birth control pills or hormonal medications affect the results of a Progesterone test?

Yes, birth control pills or other hormonal medications can affect progesterone levels. You should tell your healthcare provider about any medications you're taking as they may ask you to stop certain ones before the test.

Do I need to fast for a Progesterone test?

No, you don’t typically need to fast for a Progesterone test. However, it's important to follow any instructions given by your healthcare provider.

Understanding the Results

What do low levels of Progesterone mean?

Low levels of Progesterone may indicate a problem with ovulation, which could be linked to infertility or risk of miscarriage. In non-pregnant women, low progesterone might also be a sign of anovulation or irregular menstruation.

What do high levels of Progesterone mean?

High levels of Progesterone in women can be a sign of pregnancy or ovarian cysts. In rare cases, it could indicate ovarian cancer. In men, high levels can be due to adrenal cancer or congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Clinical Implications

Can a Progesterone test diagnose Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

A Progesterone test alone cannot diagnose PCOS, but it can be part of a panel of tests used to diagnose this condition. Women with PCOS often have lower levels of Progesterone due to irregular or absent ovulation.

Can a Progesterone test be used to determine the success of IVF treatment?

Yes, a Progesterone test is often used to monitor the effectiveness of fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). It can help determine whether the levels are right for a successful implantation.

Can a Progesterone test be used to detect menopause?

A Progesterone test isn't typically used to detect menopause. However, it can help provide a better understanding of a woman's reproductive hormonal balance.

Can a Progesterone test help in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy?

A Progesterone test can't diagnose an ectopic pregnancy on its own, but in conjunction with other tests like hCG and ultrasound, it can aid in the diagnosis.

How can a Progesterone test be used in the treatment of infertility?

Progesterone test can help determine the cause of infertility by assessing whether or not ovulation is occurring. It's also used in fertility treatment to time insemination in conjunction with other fertility drugs.

Can a Progesterone test be used to confirm ovulation?

Yes, a Progesterone test can confirm ovulation when it is taken at a certain time in a woman's menstrual cycle, typically seven days beforethe expected period. A high Progesterone level suggests that ovulation has indeed occurred.

Gender-Affirming Therapy

What role does the Progesterone test play in gender-affirming hormone therapy?

While not as commonly monitored as estradiol or testosterone, progesterone levels might be checked in transgender women using progesterone as part of their hormone regimen to ensure safe levels and desired therapeutic outcomes.

Progesterone and Men's Health

What does a Progesterone test indicate in men?

In men, progesterone is involved in the production of sperm (spermatogenesis). While the test is not commonly ordered for men, unusually high levels can suggest adrenal or testicular tumors.

Can a Progesterone test be used to diagnose prostate cancer?

No, a Progesterone test is not typically used to diagnose prostate cancer. The most common test for this purpose is a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.

Other Health Conditions

How is a Progesterone test used in the assessment of adrenal gland disorders?

Progesterone is one of many hormones produced by the adrenal glands. Therefore, abnormal progesterone levels can suggest potential adrenal dysfunction, although more specific tests are often needed for a definitive diagnosis.

Can a Progesterone test diagnose depression or anxiety?

No, a Progesterone test can't diagnose depression or anxiety. However, research suggests some individuals may have mood disorders related to the hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle, and testing progesterone could be part of understanding that relationship.

Can a Progesterone test detect ovarian cancer?

A Progesterone test isn't a first-line test for ovarian cancer. However, in some cases, high progesterone levels could suggest the presence of ovarian tumors.


Does the Progesterone test have any limitations?

Progesterone levels fluctuate throughout a woman's menstrual cycle, which can make interpreting the test somewhat complex. Also, the test is not specific for any one condition and should always be interpreted within the broader clinical context.

How are the results of the Progesterone test interpreted?

Interpretation of a Progesterone test is dependent on why the test was ordered in the first place. Generally, levels are compared to expected levels for a particular time in the menstrual cycle or stage of pregnancy. Discrepancies can suggest potential problems with ovulation, pregnancy, or other health issues.

What other tests may be done alongside a Progesterone test?

Commonly, a progesterone test may be ordered with other hormone tests, such as an estradiol or luteinizing hormone test, to get a broader view of hormonal balance. For investigating fertility, tests like Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) or hCG may also be performed.

What are the units of measurement for the Progesterone test?

Progesterone levels are typically reported in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

Can the Progesterone test indicate the stage of pregnancy?

Progesterone levels increase throughout pregnancy, but due to high variability between individuals, it is not typically used to determine the stage of pregnancy. Instead, hCG levels or ultrasound are more commonly used for this purpose.

Does the Progesterone test play a role in the treatment of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS)?

Progesterone levels have been investigated in relation to PMS, and some studies suggest that progesterone therapy could help alleviate symptoms in some people. However,the evidence is not clear-cut, and more research is needed. A Progesterone test can help to understand a person's hormonal balance in the context of PMS.

What is the role of Progesterone testing in Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

In HRT, especially for post-menopausal women, a Progesterone test can be used to monitor therapy and adjust dosage if required. It ensures that the prescribed regimen is effective in maintaining appropriate hormonal balance.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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