Site Map

Serum progesterone

Progesterone blood test (serum)

Serum progesterone is a test to measure the amount of progesterone in the blood. Progesterone is a hormone produced mainly in the ovaries.

Progesterone plays a key role in pregnancy. It is produced after ovulation in the second half of the menstrual cycle. It helps make a woman's uterus ready for a fertilized egg to be implanted. It also prepares the uterus for pregnancy by inhibiting the uterine muscle to contract and the breasts for milk production.

How the Test is Performed

A blood sample is needed. Most of the time, blood is drawn from a vein located on the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand.

How to Prepare for the Test

Many medicines can interfere with blood test results.

How the Test will Feel

You may feel slight pain or a sting when the needle is inserted. You may also feel some throbbing at the site after the blood is drawn.

Why the Test is Performed

This test is done to:

Normal Results

Progesterone levels vary, depending on the timing when the test is done. Blood progesterone levels start to rise midway through the menstrual cycle. It continues to rise for about 6 to 10 days, and then falls if the egg is not fertilized.

Levels continue to rise in early pregnancy.

The following are normal ranges based upon certain phases of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy:

Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results.

The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Higher-than-normal levels may be due to:

Lower-than-normal levels may be due to:

Related Information

Luteinizing hormone (LH) blood test
Ovarian cancer
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Miscarriage
Miscarriage - threatened
Preeclampsia
Ectopic pregnancy
Infertility

References

Bulun SE. Physiology and pathology of the female reproductive axis. In: Melmed S, Auchus, RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 17.

Ferri FF. Progesterone (serum). In: Ferri FF, ed. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2022. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:2000-2012.

Williams Z, Scott JR. Recurrent pregnancy loss. In: Resnik R, Lockwood CJ, Moore TR, Greene MF, Copel JA, Silver RM, eds. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 44.

BACK TO TOP

Review Date: 4/14/2021  

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM Quality Logo

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, for Health Content Provider (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2022 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.