All About the Progesterone Test
- Published on September 06, 2022
What is a Progesterone Test?
Progesterone, also called the female hormone is significant in every woman’s body. In females, progesterone is produced in the hormones. It is also produced in males, but this hormone dominates the female body. This hormone ceases milk production during pregnancy.
The hormonal levels reduce during labour, leading to steady milk production for feeding after the baby’s birth.
A progesterone test is a medical test that checks the progesterone levels in the patient. It is also known as the p4 blood test. Apart from this, the serum progesterone test is the medical test that is performed to check the amount of progesterone in the patient’s blood. Serum progesterone levels help the doctor to find out the reason.
High progesterone levels do not significantly impact the woman’s body. On the other hand, low progesterone levels affect both menstruation and fertility levels.
Low progesterone levels contribute to menstruation absence, poor ovarian function, and miscarriage.
Why is a progesterone test done?
A progesterone test is done in the following cases:
- To find out if the progesterone levels are responsible for a woman’s fertility
- To find the timing of ovulation
- To understand the risk of miscarriage
- To detect a high-risk pregnancy and monitor it properly to avoid miscarriage
- To diagnose and monitor ectopic pregnancy, which is the pregnancy that takes place and starts growing outside the uterus instead of inside the uterus. Most gynaecologists recommend the progesterone test to detect dangerous conditions that can be life-threatening for the patient.
The significance of progesterone for pregnancy is a crucial aspect that must be considered for a healthy and normal pregnancy. The serum progesterone tests help to recognize abnormal progesterone levels in the body due to some medical condition or unusual activity.
Causes of low progesterone levels
The primary causes of the low progesterone levels include the following reasons:
- Anovulatory cycle
- Increased cortisol levels
- Low cholesterol levels
Symptoms of low progesterone levels
Low levels of progesterone are evident with the following symptoms:
- Irregular periods and short cycles
- Premenstrual spotting
- Fertility issues
- Mood changes, anxiety, and depression
- Sleep disturbances and restless sleep
- Night sweats
- Fluid retention
- Bone problems
One must understand that low progesterone levels negatively impact the fertility levels of the female’s body, thus interfering in the occurrence of a successful pregnancy. Therefore, patients must consult their doctor or gynaecologist to take the right measures before it’s too late.
Another point is that low progesterone levels can be treated simply with certain measures. The gynaecologist or physician might recommend progesterone supplements to ensure that the levels rise to normal ones within a decent period.
Causes of high progesterone levels
High progesterone level is caused due to the following reasons:
- Normal pregnancies (furthermore in multiple pregnancies)
- High stress
- Excessive consumption of caffeine
- Habit of smoking
- Occurrence of Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Symptoms of high progesterone levels
If a woman has high progesterone levels, then the following symptoms indicate the same:
- Breast tenderness and/or swelling
- Excessive bleeding (during menstruation)
- Weight gain and/or bloating
- Anxiety and depression
- Low sex drive
When should progesterone be tested?
If a woman has regular periods, calculating the progesterone blood test date calculation is easy. You just need to find out the next expected period and count seven days backwards.
For instance, if your menstrual cycle is a 28-day cycle, then the best day to take the serum progesterone test is day 21.
The progesterone day calculation requires a different method if a woman has irregular periods. Ovulation day will be useful in this case. In case of any doubts, it is important to discuss them with your doctor to avoid any confusion in the later stages of life.
The Procedure for a Progesterone Test
The progesterone test is performed with the following steps:
- The doctor collects the blood sample
- To collect the blood, the phlebotomist first cleans the skin present over the vein from which he aims to take out the required amount of blood
- He inserts a needle into the vein
- The blood is taken out via the needle into the tube or vial
- Finally, the collected blood is sent to the laboratory for testing
Each step is performed with proper care to avoid infection or similar reactions at the puncture site or any other part of the body. You must take hygienic measures to prevent any complications in your overall health.
If you experience any problems in your health after the progesterone blood test, you must consult a doctor or your gynaecologist immediately without any delay.
What is the normal progesterone level?
The normal progesterone levels at different stages in a female’s life are as follows:
- Beginning of the menstrual cycle: less than or equal to 1 ng/ml
- During the menstrual cycle: 5 to 20 ng/ml
- First-trimester pregnancy: 11.2 to 44 ng/ml
- Second trimester pregnancy: 25.2 to 89.4 ng/ml
- Third-trimester pregnancy: 65 to 290 ng/ml
What is the cost?
Progesterone test costs vary from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1500 for every test. The progesterone test price varies with the respective city, availability of the medical facility, and quality of the respective medical test.
It is important to research well before finalizing this medical test to receive the best quality service and experience.
What are the risks of this test?
Progesterone blood test or p4 blood test is like any other blood test. Therefore, when the phlebotomist inserts the needle, it leads to some pain at that immediate moment.
After removing the needle from the patient’s body, a few minutes of bleeding is possible. A bruise might be there in the respective area for a few days.
Severe complications such as inflammation of a vein, fainting, and infection at the puncture site are possible, but it’s rare to see such reactions among patients.
It is recommended to take advance precautions to keep such complications away from you.
Thus, the progesterone test is a significant test that a woman must take after consultation with the doctor for the best possible care regularly. If possible, you must take routine tests to ensure that the levels are normal and there are no possibilities of menstrual or fertility problems in your health.
Book your routine test and consult the top medical experts at Birla Fertility and IVF Clinic to get the best medical advice today.
1. What are progesterone tests for?
Progesterone tests measure the level of the hormone progesterone in the respective female. It helps to find out if the female is ovulating normally. This hormone is produced in the ovaries of a woman. This test is performed along with other hormones to diagnose the problem properly.
2. When should progesterone be tested?
Progesterone levels must be tested on specific days of the month w.r.t. ovulation timings. The first best time to test this hormone level is 18 to 24 days after the first day of your period. The second-best time to check this hormone level is seven days before your next period cycle starts (according to your expected date).
3. What is a normal progesterone level?
The normal progesterone level in women includes the following:
- Follicular stage of the menstrual cycle: 0.1 to 0.7 ng/ml
- Luteal stage of the menstrual cycle: 2 to 25 ng/mlPrepubescent girls: 0.1 to 0.3 ng/ml.
Dr Prof (Col) Pankaj Talwar, VSM
Director, Medical Services
Dr Pankaj Talwar is one of the most renowned Infertility treatment specialists in India. He brings with him over 29 years of experience with one of the highest success rates in the country across 21,000+ IVF cycles. He is one of the very few gynaecologists who is also a trained embryologist. Dr Pankaj is the Sr Vice President of the Indian Fertility Society and Founder Secretary of Fertility Preservation Society of India. His focus areas include managing failed IVF cycles, managing recurrent implantation failure, Onco- Fertility, Andrology, Sperm function test, Ovarian cortex freezing and Clinical embryology.
Over 32 years of experience
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