Progesterone-a hormone produced by ovaries plays an important role in women during pregnancy. A progesterone levels chart gives an overview of pregnancy including how the pregnancy is moving ahead besides letting us know if there are any problems with fertility.
What Is A Progesterone Test?
A progesterone test is a blood test conducted to measure progesterone levels in the blood. This test is also known as serum progesterone, progesterone blood test, and PGSN.
Progesterone has a key role during pregnancy. It aids the uterus in getting ready to maintain a fertilized egg besides helping the breast to produce milk. Progesterone levels in women differ during the menstrual cycle. Usually, the levels are high (almost 10 times higher) in a pregnant woman in comparison to a non-pregnant woman.
Even men make progesterone, however, in very small quantities. In men, this hormone is made by adrenal glands and testes.
Why Is The Progesterone Test Done?
Knowing progesterone levels for pregnancy in a woman has vital importance. The test is done for the below purposes;
- To know the reasons for infertility in women
- To know if a woman is ovulating and also know when the ovulation is happening
- To know the risks of miscarriage
- To check and oversee a high-risk pregnancy
- To diagnose an ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy that develops in a wrong place (usually outside the uterus)
All these purposes are highly essential to know if the pregnancy is good or not. Besides this test assesses other risk factors and helps doctors to act accordingly.
How To Test Progesterone Levels?
A blood sample from a vein in the arm is collected by a healthcare professional using a small needle. This small amount of blood collected will be sent for the test. The whole process takes not more than 5 minutes and there is no need for any kind of special preparations and also the chances of any kind of risks are not present.
Progesterone Levels Chart- Normal Range
Generally, normal serum progesterone test results come under the below ranges;
- Postmenopausal women, men, and women at the starting of their menstrual cycle- 1 ng/mL or under
- Women in the middle of their menstrual cycle- 5 to 20 ng/mL
- Pregnant women in their 1st trimester- 11.2 to 90 ng/mL
- Pregnant women in their 2nd trimester- 25.6 to 89.4 ng/mL
- Pregnant women in their 3rd trimester- 48.4 to 42.5 ng/mL
Causes Of Progesterone Levels High
Along with pregnancy, high progesterone levels are the result of;
- Ovarian cancer
- Adrenal cancer
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Effects Of High Progesterone Levels
Typically, high levels of progesterone do not lead to any kind of negative health effects. Possessing progesterone in high levels will never lead to any sort of negative effects on health. In fact, according to a study, the presence of high levels of progesterone will act as a guard against ovarian cancer.
Causes Of Progesterone Levels Low
The key factors of low progesterone in women are ovaries’ problems, menopause, and miscarriage. Along with these, causes that lead to irregular and no ovulation such as hypothyroidism, PCOS, and elevated prolactin levels can also lead to low progesterone levels. In men, the low levels of this hormone are the age, with increasing age progesterone decreases in men.
Effects Of Low Progesterone Levels
Lack of correct levels of progesterone is a matter of worry. Effects of low progesterone levels include;
- Headaches or migraines
- Mood swings including depression or anxiety
- Abnormality in the menstrual cycle
- Abnormal uterine bleeding
Note: The above effects hold good for women who aren’t pregnant.
The effects of low progesterone in pregnant women consist of miscarriage and spotting. It can as well indicate an ectopic pregnancy.
Tips To Maintain Normal Progesterone Levels
There are two ways of maintaining progesterone levels, one is natural and the other way is artificial which also means taking the help of medical treatments.
- Application of creams filled with progesterone made of yams or soybeans
- Try out progesterone pills
- Insertion of progesterone suppositories in the vagina is also one way
- Eat progesterone rich foods such as beans, broccoli, pumpkin, and others. To know the full list, ask your dietician
- Reduce stress
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Do not over-exercise
Progesterone is a key hormone for women and this holds very much true for pregnant women. Go for a progesterone test at least once in a while and know if your progesterone levels chart is normal or not.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.