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Subject: Progesterone

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  • Natural steroid hormone that induces secretory changes in endometrium, promotes mammary gland development, relaxes uterine smooth muscles, blocks follicular maturation, and maintains pregnancy. Hormone synthesized by the ovary; low in follicular phase but increases to 10–40 mg/day during luteal phase and ≤300 mg/day if pregnancy occurs.

  • Normal range: see Table 16.68.

TABLE 16–68
Normal Ranges of Progesterone


  • Detection of ovulation in the evaluation of the function of the corpus luteum

  • Monitoring patients having ovulation during induction with hCG, human menopausal gonadotropin, FSH/LH-releasing hormone, or clomiphene

  • To evaluate patients at risk for early abortion


Increased In

  • Luteal phase of menstrual cycle

  • Luteal cysts of the ovary; ovarian tumors (e.g., arrhenoblastoma)

  • Adrenal tumors

  • CAH caused by 21-hydroxylase, 17-hydroxylase, and 11-beta hydroxylase

  • Molar pregnancy

Decreased In

  • Amenorrhea

  • Threatened abortion (some patients)

  • Fetal death

  • Toxemia of pregnancy

  • Gonadal agenesis