progesterone is a sex hormone, which is mainly formed in the female body. It is important, among other things, for the preparation and maintenance of pregnancy. Read more about the production and function of progesterone, its normal values, and possible causes of altered progesterone levels.

Article overview progesterone

  • What is progesterone?
  • When do you determine the progesterone?
  • Progesterone standard values
  • When is the progesterone level too low?
  • When is the progesterone level too high?

What is progesterone?

Like estrogen, progesterone is a female sex hormone, although it also occurs in the male body. It is produced in women especially in the corpus luteum (corpus luteum) and is therefore called corpus luteum hormone. The yellow body arises after each ovulation from the ruptured follicles, which remain in the ovary. Therefore, in women, the concentration of progesterone in the blood is highest in the middle luteal phase of their menstrual cycle. That's about the fifth to eighth days after ovulation.

Progesterone regulates the female cycle along with estrogens and prepares the body for pregnancy: Progesterone ensures that the egg can be fertilized and implanted in the uterine lining, that the pregnancy is preserved and the mammary glands prepare for milk secretion. Therefore, in pregnant women progesterone is also produced in the placenta.

In men and women also the adrenal cortices produce progesterone, but only in small amounts.

Progesterone produces many other hormones in the body, such as androgens, cortisol or aldosterone.

"Artificial" progesterone = progestin

There are artificially produced hormones that have similar effects to natural progesterone. These hormones are called progestins. They are found in hormone preparations that are used, for example, for birth control ("pill"), menopausal symptoms or acne.

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When do you determine the progesterone?

Progesterone is determined, for example, in the case of unfulfilled desire for children as well as in the case of cycle disorders. It is also measured if the doctor suspects a hormonal condition. These include benign or malignant tumors that produce progesterone.

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Progesterone standard values

Progesterone is determined in the blood serum. For Girls and women the following standard values ​​apply (in nanomoles per liter):

Progesterone Standard Value

Before puberty (10 - 15 years)

0.48-4.45 nmol / l


0.19-2.83 nmol / l


0.38-38.2 nmol / l

luteal phase

5.82 - 76 nmol / l

After the menopause

<0.16-0.41 nmol / l

Pregnancy: 1st trimester

34.98 - 140.9 nmol / l

Pregnancy: 2nd trimester

80.8 - 265 nmol / l

Pregnancy: 3rd trimester

187-681 nmol / l

Conversion to nanograms per milliliter: nmol / l x 0.314 = ng / ml

at men Irrespective of the age, the progesterone norm values ​​are <0.16 to 0.48 nmol / l.

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When is the progesterone level too low?

Possible reasons for a decreased progesterone value are, for example:

  • Disorders of ovulation (ovulation disorders), for example in a menstrual cycle without ovulation (= anovulatory cycle) or a luteal weakness (corpus luteum insufficiency)
  • Underdevelopment or malformation of the ovaries (primary ovarian failure)
  • Anorexia nervosa (anorexia nervosa)
  • Hypofunction of the anterior pituitary (lack of FSH production)