A progesterone test functions as a blood test that measures the level of a specific hormone in the body, known as “progesterone.” This hormone is vital for pregnant women because it helps their body support a fertilized egg. Essentially, this hormone aids the woman’s breasts in creating milk.
Further, this hormone helps them control their period. What happens is that the hormone levels soar every month when a woman begins to ovulate and the ovum is ready to be fertilized. Where the ovum is not fertilized, progesterone triggers the period as it declines. However, progesterone levels soar to about ten times their ordinary level when you get pregnant. As we go further in this article, we shall highlight the uses of this test, the procedure, and the interpretation of progesterone results.
Benefits of a Progesterone Test
While you cannot use a progesterone test as an independent test to adequately carry out any proper diagnosis, you can use it alongside other tests. Nevertheless, a doctor uses a progesterone test to:
- Understand why you are not pregnant when you have been trying to conceive;
- To know when and if you are ovulating;
- In high-risk pregnancies, doctors use progesterone tests to monitor the pregnancy;
- Diagnose pregnancies where the fertilized egg is implanted outside the womb. Medically, this is an ectopic pregnancy.
Progesterone Test Procedure
To carry out this test, you do not need to do any specific pre-test routine. However, it will be helpful to know when your menstrual cycle began. The procedure involves the doctor inserting a needle in a vein in one of your arms and taking a sample of your blood.
Progesterone Test Results
Your result may be one of the following:
- Progesterone Levels Don’t Fluctuate Regularly: You get this result after doctors carry out a series of tests. This result implies that your progesterone levels do not fluctuate the way they regularly should, especially during and after ovulation.
- Low level of progesterone: if the results indicate that your progesterone levels are low, it could be due to certain factors, including:
- The ovaries don’t function the way they regularly should.
- An unusual pregnancy.
- High Level of Progesterone: Where the results indicate that the hormone levels are higher than usual, this may mean:
- A pregnancy that involves more than one baby;
- Cyst growth on your ovaries;
- It may even indicate ovarian cancer.
Are Progesterone Tests Worth It?
In conclusion, progesterone tests can quickly tell a woman struggling to conceive a different problem. These tests pinpoint the exact underlying cause and help doctors prescribe the drugs that will ease the woman’s ability to conceive.