Progesterone (blood spot) (B)

Progesterone (blood spot) (B)


A hormone produced by the ovaries after ovulation and in lesser amounts by the adrenal glands. A precursor to most of the steroid hormones, it has many vital functions, from maintaining pregnancy to regulating menstrual cycles. It has calming and diuretic properties, and enhances the beneficial effects of estrogens while balancing estrogen and preventing problems linked to estrogen excess. Progesterone also facilitates balance of other steroid hormones.


Clinical Information

Progesterone’s primary function during the menstrual cycle is to induce a secretory endometrium ready for implantation of a fertilized egg. Levels therefore increase during the luteal phase of the cycle after ovulation. If no implantation occurs, progesterone returns to follicular phase levels. If a pregnancy results, progesterone continues to rise to very high levels and carries out a variety of functions necessary to sustain the pregnancy. In some patients with infertility, ovulation may occur but luteal phase levels of progesterone are inadequate. Luteal phase deficiency is a result of inadequate progesterone production by the corpus luteum. During menopause, ovarian progesterone production dwindles, resulting in postmenopausal levels similar to those seen in men. Progesterone has wide-ranging physiological effects, including neuroprotection, maintenance of skin elasticity, and development of bone tissue. Progesterone also counteracts the proliferative effects of estrogen on the endometrium. Blood spot and serum levels are normally identical, but when samples are collected after transdermal application of progesterone, finger stick blood spot progesterone levels are higher than serum , suggesting a rapid distribution of progesterone to tissues including the capillary beds of the fingertips. Reference range progesterone levels in premenopausal women (luteal phase) are 3.3—22.5 ng/mL, and in postmenopausal women and men <0.1—0.8 ng/mL

Test Specifications