Progesterone is a steroid hormone which is mainly produced by the cells of the Corpus Luteum and, during pregnancy, by the Placenta. Progesterone levels are low during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. After ovulation, progesterone production by the corpus luteum increases rapidly, reaching a maximum concentration 4 to 7 days after ovulation. These levels are maintained for 4 to 6 days then fall to baseline levels, inducing menstruation.
Progesterone stimulates the cells of the uterine mucosa in readiness for the implantation of a fertilised ovum. If fertilisation does not occur, the corpus luteum regresses, causing reduction in progesterone levels, and the cycle begins again.
Progesterone determination is useful in fertility diagnosis for the detection of ovulation and assessment of the luteal phase.
Follicular: < 5.0nmol/L
Luteal: 3.5 – 67 nmol/L
Post-menopause: < 4.4nmol/L
Three patient identifiers from:
- Date of birth
- NHS number
- Unit number
should match on the specimen and request form. This check may be performed prior to centrifugation by the central sort department.