What is a progesterone test?
A progesterone test measures the level of progesterone in the blood. Progesterone is a hormone made by a woman's ovaries. Progesterone plays an important role in pregnancy. It helps make your uterus ready to support a fertilized egg. Progesterone also helps prepare your breasts for making milk.
Progesterone levels vary during a woman's menstrual cycle. The levels start out low, then increase after the ovaries release an egg. If you become pregnant, progesterone levels will continue to rise as your body gets ready to support a developing baby. If you do not become pregnant (your egg is not fertilized), your progesterone levels will go down and your period will begin.
Progesterone levels in a pregnant woman are about 10 times higher than they are in a woman who is not pregnant. Men also make progesterone, but in much smaller amounts. In men, progesterone is made by the adrenal glands and testes.
serum progesterone, progesterone blood test, PGSN
What is it used for?
A progesterone test is used to:
- Find the cause of a woman's infertility (the inability to make a baby)
- Find out if and when you are ovulating
- Find out your risk of a miscarriage
- Monitor a high-risk pregnancy
- Diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy that grows in the wrong place (outside the uterus). A developing baby can't survive an ectopic pregnancy. This condition is dangerous, and sometimes life-threatening, for a woman.
Why do I need a progesterone test?
You may need this test if you are having trouble getting pregnant. A progesterone test can help your health care provider see if you are ovulating normally.
If you are pregnant, you may need this test to check the health of your pregnancy. Your provider may recommend a progesterone test if you are at risk for miscarriage or other pregnancy complications. Your pregnancy may be at risk if you have symptoms such as abdominal cramps or bleeding, and/or a previous history of miscarriage.
What happens during a progesterone test?
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
Will I need to do anything to prepare for the test?
You don't need any special preparations for a progesterone test.
Are there any risks to the test?
There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruise at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.