17 OH Progesterone test

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is progesterone and what are its functions?

Progesterone is a sex hormone in the human body (both male and female) that is significantly associated with reproduction. The few most important roles of progesterone are:
– Brain functions.
– Hormonal functions
– Female breast functions
– Skin health
– Aging process
Sperm development
– Stress control

What is 17 OH Progesterone?

17 hydroxyprogesterone or 17 OH Progesterone is the building block of the cortisol hormone which plays a massive role in the immune system and metabolism. Cortisol hormone which is also known as the stress hormone is produced in the adrenal cortex(the outer part of the two adrenal glands located above the kidneys). A higher amount of 17 OH progesterone indicates the lower production of cortisol and vice versa.

What is the 17 OH Progesterone Test?

17 HydroxyProgesterone Test measures and monitors the levels of 17 OH Progesterone in the blood. This test can be carried out in both males and females. 17 OH Progesterone Test is mainly suggested to the newborns and the infants.

Why did my doctor suggest a 17 OH Progesterone Test?

If the doctor suspects Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia(CAH), he/she is suggested to undergo the 17 OH Progesterone test.

When should I take a 17 OH Progesterone test?

In the case of a girl or an adult woman, if you notice the symptoms of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia(CAH), you should take a 17 OH Progesterone test. The symptoms are listed below:

– Irregular menstrual cycle.
– A deep voice.
– Genitalia having both male and female characteristics.
– Excessive facial and body hair growth.
– Early hair growth in the pubic and armpit area.
– Infertility.

In the case of a young boy or an adult male, following are the common symptoms:

– Early-onset of puberty, beginning as early as age 2 or 3.
– Deep voice.
– Well-defined muscles.
– Large penis and small testes.
– Infertility.

Why is my newborn suggested a 17 OH Progesterone test?

The 17 OH Progesterone Test is highly recommended to the newborns as a part of their regular routine screening. A newborn is suggested 17OH Progesterone Test if the doctor wants to diagnose the cause for ambiguous genitalia.

When should I get my kid a 17 OH Progesterone Test?  

You should get a 17 OH Progesterone Test for your kids if you notice the following symptoms, developing early on.

– Pubic hair.
– Acne.
– Lack of energy.
– Disinterest in eating.
– Low blood pressure.
– Vomiting and other feeding problems.
– Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia).

Genitals that are not clearly male or female (ambiguous genitalia) are always treated as the first and foremost symptom to get this test done.

Is 17 OH Progesterone test recommended for pregnant and lactating women?

The 17 OH Progesterone Test is recommended in pregnant women to diagnose and treat CAH(Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia) in the fetus.

What are the preparations needed for the 17 OH Progesterone Test?

– There’s no need for fasting.
– An early morning collection of blood is usually suggested.
– The blood sample of a woman might be collected at a specific time during the menstrual cycle.
– No old medications are stopped except for steroids

What is the procedure of the 17 OH Progesterone Test?

For the 17 OH Progesterone test to be conducted, a blood sample has to be collected by the venipuncture procedure. The procedure is as follows:

– A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to make the veins more prominent.

– A syringe or needle is used to draw blood by puncturing the vein.

– The blood is drawn into the tube of the syringe.

– The tourniquet is unwrapped.

– An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture to avoid any infection.

– The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put to stop any further bleeding.

– The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the 17 OH Progesterone testing.

– In the case of infants, the blood sample is collected from the heels of the infant with a simple pinprick.

What is the procedure of the 17 OH Progesterone test in the case of pregnant women?

In the case of pregnant women, the test is conducted by the collection of amniotic fluid. The procedure of collection of amniotic fluid includes the following steps:
– The doctor suggests you lay down in a comfortable position.

– The exposed part of the abdomen is then cleansed with an antiseptic.

– A local anesthetic might be injected to avoid any discomfort or pain.

– The doctor locates the position of the fetus and placenta by using ultrasound.

– Under ultrasound guidance, the doctor inserts a hollow needle through your abdomen and uterus to the amniotic fluid.

– A small amount of amniotic fluid is drawn out using a needle.

– This sample amniotic fluid is then sent to the laboratory for the 17 OH progesterone Test.

What is the price of the 17 OH Progesterone Test in India?

The price of the 17 OH Progesterone test in India ranges from Rs 1000- 4000. It can vary with various locations around the country.

When will I get my results?

You will get your 17 OH Progesterone within 24 to 36 hours of the test itself.

What does my 17 OH Progesterone test result depict?

The reference ranges of 17 OH Progesterone vary according to age and gender. The reference ranges with respect to age and gender are elaborated in the table given below:

Age and Gender Reference range
Foetus (umbilical cord blood) 1000-3000 ng/dL
Newborns < 630 ng/dL (> 630 ng/dL may be seen in preterm infants, but > 1000 ng/dL is uncommon)
Prepubertal males< 110 ng/dL
Adult males < 220 ng/dL
Prepubertal females < 100 ng/dL
Follicular (in females) < 80 ng/dL
Luteal (in females) < 285 ng/dL
Postmenopausal females < 51 ng/dL

Depending on your age and gender, if you are having a higher level of 17 OH Progesterone, that indicates a lower production of the cortisol from the adrenal cortex. A higher level of 17 OH Progesterone also indicates CAH( Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia) in you or your child. A higher concentration of 17 OH Progesterone also indicates adrenal tumours.If you have lower levels of 17 OH Progesterone, it indicates that your body is responding to the treatment.

What is the prevalence of CAH(Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia) in India?

1 in every 13,000 people of the general population and 1 in every 15,000 live births in India are suffering from CAH(Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia).

What is the role of progesterone in substance abuse?

According to various researches and reports, progesterone has been found to have the capacity of modulating the responses to drugs of abuse and may have utility as a novel treatment for SUDs(Substance Utility Disorders). Progesterone helps in the attenuation of the craving for and the euphoric effects of drugs of abuse.


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