Progesterone is known as a hormone that is mainly produced by the corpus luteum in your follicles – this is what the follicles transform into after releasing eggs. Progesterone aids your uterus for proper implantation of a fertilized egg by helping the endometrium or uterine lining to properly and successfully maintain the pregnancy.
A progesterone test is a certain type of procedure that measures the levels of progesterone that is present in your blood sample; it is possible to have your progesterone level checked in connection to a fertility work up especially if you have some trouble getting pregnant. It can also be part of a fertility treatment cycles blood work panel to determine if you already have ovulated. If you have ever had unusual bleeding in your uterus, stillbirth, or a miscarriage in the past, stillbirth, your levels of progesterone may also be examined.
The levels of your progesterone are usually examined six to eight days right after your ovulation period this is around the 21st of a 28-day period cycle since the levels of progesterone rise right after your ovulation period, and peaking around five to nine days after. This occurrence is known as the luteal phase following the mid-luteal period, the serum levels of progesterone will start to drop if your egg has not been fertilized. Keep in mind that if you have an irregular menstrual cycle, your doctor may request that you visit is or her clinic for a couple of blood tests until your period actually begins. This is to pinpoint and determine when or if your ovulation does occur, and it will also help you get an accurate and precise test result.
If you are someone who has issues when it comes to your menstrual cycle or if you have infertility problems, you will need to get more than a single blood sample to test your progesterone level since this is necessary to determine what the underlying problem is; it is possible that a blood sample will be taken every day for a couple of days in a row. Once the doctor notices that your levels of progesterone are raised at a certain level during the luteal phase, it only means that you are ovulating; however, if your progesterone level is not raised, it shows that you are not ovulating. Keep in mind that certain factors can contribute to lower levels of progesterone and these include too much stress, obesity, poor diet, insulin resistance, as well as lack of exercise.
When we speak of the increased progesterone level, this can be caused by ovarian cancer, adrenal cancer, or a condition known as the congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Consistently elevated levels of progesterone are usually found during pregnancy, so if you are currently pregnant but learn that your levels of progesterone are low, keep in mind that this is associated with fetal death, toxemia of pregnancy, and threatened abortion so it is best to speak with your doctor regarding this.
Preparing for the Progesterone Level Test
To start preparing for the progesterone level test, your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications (such as birth control pills) containing progesterone, estrogen, or both. Refrain from taking these for up to four weeks in total before having the actual progesterone test.
Also remember to inform your doctor if you ever had a test that utilized a tracer a radioactive substance within the last seven days; recent tests such as a bone scan or a thyroid scan that makes use of a radioactive tracer can highly interfere with the results of your progesterone level test. You should also let your doctor know when the first day or your last menstrual cycle was, if the bleeding is light, or if it starts with spotting; keep in mind that the first day is when you have the heaviest bleeding during your period.
Take the time to speak with your doctor or healthcare specialist regarding any concerns or issues that you have regarding the need for this test, how the procedure goes, its risks, and what the results mean.
Progesterone Level and Fertility Treatment
When your mid-luteal serums level of progesterone is low, the very first thing that should be done is to have another rerun of the cycle to confirm if the results are still the same. If the results to come out exactly the same as the first try or if the levels are still low, you may possibly require ovarian stimulation to aid you in ovulating properly. If the results show high levels of progesterone, it will possibly be addressed by curing the main cause of the issue.
Remember that a lot of different conditions can change the levels of progesterone, so it is a must that your doctor discusses and informs you about any significant abnormal results in relation to your past health, as well as your symptoms.