Progesterone is an sex hormone that plays a vital function in controlling menstrual flow and assisting female reproductive health. It also affects various bodily functions and influences cognition, body temperature memory, as well as the development of age-related conditions. Therefore, extremely elevated or decreased levels of progesterone could cause health issues which should be discussed with a medical professional.
Progesterone blood tests, also known as the P4 test, measures the hormone at a specific point in time. The difficulty is understanding what the results mean to you, then putting your results in relation to other health indicators and obtaining insurance that covers the cost associated with the tests.
InsideTracker currently tests the levels of progesterone in females’ blood in the Ultra Plan giving you a better understanding of the meaning of your levels and revealing how they could impact other aspects that affect your overall health. When you test for progesterone using InsideTracker your health profile, the analysis will reveal exactly the significance of your results with regard to your current life style, menopausal status as well as contraceptive use and other biomarkers in your blood.
What is the word progesterone?
Progesterone is produced mostly from the adrenal cortex, as well as the Ovaries. The steroid hormone is crucial to the reproductive health of women and plays an essential role during menstrual cycles as well as pregnancy and the growth of the embryo. An increase in blood progesterone levels can be an important factor in preparing your body for the possibility of pregnancy. the subsequent decrease in blood levels of progesterone in the absence of pregnancy, which results in menstrual cycles.
Thus, progesterone levels frequently change during the second part of menstrual cycles. The levels continue to fluctuate throughout the perimenopausal phase and then decrease after postmenopausal. The rate at the decline in progesterone levels could increase the severity of vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and other symptoms that many women suffer from during menopausal change.
Menstruating women have the presence of high levels of progesterone is connected to additional health indicators that include cognitive health as well as an increase in core body temperature, which could impact the quality of sleep. Progesterone levels that are low can lead to a rise in estrogen levels that result in irregular menstrual cycles and the occurrence of spotting.
Does progesterone production occur in men?
Everyone produces and utilizes progesterone, even men. Progesterone is produced by the adrenal glands as well as the testes, and is necessary to maintain a healthy testosterone production level in males.
What is the range of reference for a blood test to determine progesterone?
The results of blood tests are usually shown against a reference range. Any levels that are higher or below this range should be discussed by your physician in case they be a sign of a medical issue.
Progesterone throughout the life of a female
Progesterone levels fluctuate according to cycles in premenopausal and menopausal women. They are relatively stable after the postmenopausal age. In every menstrual phase Progesterone levels could fluctuate outside of their normal range. At each stage of life the effect of these fluctuating levels can affect the body’s health and overall wellbeing.
Let’s look at the significance of progesterone levels for pre -, peri- and postmenopausal females.
Progesterone levels in women who are premenopausal
Progesterone levels fluctuate rapidly during the entire menstrual cycle. They are at their lowest during the follicular phase that begins in the beginning (menses) and then peak during the seven – to eight- day period of luteal. Progesterone levels peak during the luteal phase triggers growth of the uterine lining in order to prepare for a fertilized egg to implant. It also prevents the contraction of muscles in the uterus. If there is no new pregnancy, the levels of progesterone are reduced in the body which results in a menstrual cycle.
The use of hormonal contraceptives, for example taking the pill or using an implant – stabilizes these peaks and dips in progesterone levels by limiting the rise of the hormone in the luteal stage of menstrual cycle. This results in higher levels of progesterone that are consistent throughout the menstrual cycle. 
What are the meanings of low levels?
Progesterone levels that are low can lead to an increase in estrogen levels, as the two hormones are closely related. The low levels of progesterone affect the the uterine liner (also known as the endometrium) prior to its shed and could cause heavy periods irregularly, irregular menstrual flow, and spots.
What does high levels mean?
Research has shown that elevated progesterone levels can cause anxiety and a decrease in working memory performance for women. The increased levels of progesterone during the luteal phase helps prepare your body to prepare for pregnancy. It can also increase women’s need for an environment that is secure and supportive and may increase anxieties and fears.
Progesterone levels that are elevated for a long time could have implications for clinical conditions such as endometrial hyperplasia, a condition in which the lining of the uterus is thicker than normal. Since high levels of progesterone could be a sign of a medical condition, consult to a doctor about the elevated levels.
Progesterone levels are high in peripostmenopausal and postmenopausal women
Progesterone levels tend to fall during postmenopausal and peri-menopausal women.
In the period of perimenopausal the levels of progesterone are usually fluctuating as menstrual cycles become less regular until menopausal symptoms begin to manifest. the woman hasn’t had menstrual cycles for twelve months. Therefore, the body reduces progesterone production, which results in lower levels of blood progesterone. Progesterone levels are continuing to decrease when women enter postmenopausal.
The fluctuation in levels of progesterone in the perimenopausal period can affect sleep indirectly due to the impact it has upon body temperatures. Progesterone levels that are elevated can encourage the conservation of heat, which can raise the body temperature. The higher body temperature of the core promotes the state of being awake and makes it difficult to get sleepy.
What are the meanings of low levels?
Progesterone levels that are low can lead to symptoms like increased mood and trouble sleeping that are common menopausal symptoms. It is important to remember that each woman experiences symptoms of menopausal in a different way.
What does high levels mean?
Prolonged high levels of progesterone may have clinical implications–including conditions that should be discussed with your healthcare provider.
How do levels of progesterone affect other biomarkers in the blood?
Progesterone is a complex linkage to various biological systems. Research research suggests a link between progesterone levels and various biomarkers of blood.
The graph below explains the way that certain biomarkers are linked to progesterone levels in menopausal and postmenopausal phases and the reason for it.