In women, ovaries produce a very important hormone called progesterone. It is produced during ovulation. It helps in preparing the endometrium (lining of the uterus) for receiving the fertilized egg. In the absence of fertilization, progesterone levels fall and menses begins. High levels of progesterone are produced by the placenta during pregnancy.
A progesterone test is used to measure the hormone progesterone levels in a blood sample.
Why is the test ordered?
The test may be prescribed to learn the cause of infertility, to detect abnormal or ectopic pregnancy, to monitor ovulation, high-risk pregnancy, progesterone therapy and to know the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding in non-pregnant women.
When is the test ordered?
The test may be recommended during an infertility evaluation (in case a woman is unable to conceive), to know whether she is ovulating normally or not. The test may also be recommended if symptoms indicate ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. Progesterone levels are measured to monitor a high-risk pregnancy. The test may also be recommended for a non-pregnant woman if she experiences abnormal uterine bleeding or a woman is undergoing progesterone replacement therapy.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is drawn from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
No special preparation is required for this test. However, a woman’s last menstrual period and the trimester of pregnancy should be noted.