A progesterone test may be used:
- To help recognize and manage some causes of infertility. Since progesterone levels vary throughout the menstrual cycle, multiple (serial) measurements can be used for this purpose.
- To determine whether or not a woman has ovulated, when ovulation occurred, or to monitor the success of induced ovulation
- In early pregnancy to help diagnose an ectopic or failing pregnancy, along with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) testing
- To monitor a high-risk pregnancy to help evaluate placenta and fetal health
- If a woman is receiving progesterone injections to help support her early pregnancy, to help determine the effectiveness of the replacement treatment
- Along with other tests such as an FSH, LH, hCG, thyroid tests, clotting tests, and a complete blood count (CBC) to help determine the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding in non-pregnant women
Interpretation of progesterone test results depends on the reason for testing and requires knowledge of the point at which a woman is in her menstrual cycle or pregnancy. Progesterone levels usually start to elevate when an egg is released from the ovary, rise for several days, and then either continue to rise with early pregnancy or fall to initiate menstruation.
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