Progesterone Level Testing in Durham, NC
Have your periods been irregular or non-existent, and accompanied by mood swings, or weight gain? Do you have gallbladder problems, uterus masses, or unexplained vaginal bleeding? Extreme fatigue and bloating? Your progesterone levels may be unbalanced.
Progesterone is a sex hormone that enhances fertility and prepares women’s bodies for pregnancy. With age, decreasing progesterone can stimulate some debilitating health conditions.
What is Progesterone Level Testing?
Progesterone level testing, also called serum progesterone testing, is typically a simple routine procedure. Your doctor will draw a blood sample and send it to a lab, where it will be tested for hormonal imbalances, which can help determine the right treatment plan to restore levels and dispel symptoms.
Progesterone deficiency in women can be caused by diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and thyroid or adrenal disorders.
What Are the Symptoms of Progesterone Imbalance?
Progesterone imbalance can contribute to fertility issues in younger women, and can cause a wide variety of symptoms during perimenopause and menopause – around age 35 to 40, or as late as 44, when women’s progesterone levels begin to wane. Symptoms include:
- infertility or subfertility
- miscarriage, usually in the first trimester
- irregular menstrual cycles
- agitation, hyperarousal, or premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- painful and/or swollen breasts (mastalgia)
- cyclical headaches (particularly menstrual or hormonal migraines)
- easily pooling blood; easily bruising skin
- hemorrhoids or varicose veins
- heavy or painful periods
- bloating, particularly in the ankles and belly, and/or fluid retention
- ovarian cysts, breast cysts, or endometrial cysts (polyps)
- easily disrupted sleep; possible night sweats
- itchy or restless legs, especially at night
- increased clumsiness or poor coordination
- more cravings for comfort food, alcohol
- low libido
- adrenal fatigue
- thinning hair
- fluctuating blood sugar levels
- memory loss
- fibroids (non-cancerous growths in your uterus)
- gallbladder complications
- lumps in your breasts
Hormones don’t function in isolation – they’re synergistic. Hyperarousal and moodines results from the disruption of specific hormones like progesterone or cortisol — the main stress hormone which regulates digestion, cravings, sleep/wake patterns, blood pressure, and physical activity.
Excessive cortisol tends to cause us to overeat, which causes blood sugar spikes, which causes even higher cortisol, and even lower progesterone and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels. This cycle can generate symptoms of adrenal fatigue. By testing your progesterone levels your healthcare provider can potentially discover how they may be interacting with other crucial hormones, and craft a big picture custom treatment for your imbalance.
How is Progesterone Level Testing Performed?
A physical examination is usually the first step. Your healthcare provider with discuss your current health and symptoms, any medications you’re taking, and your medical history, then examine your pelvic area to help diagnose or rule out other medical conditions that may be causing your symptoms.
Blood testing and saliva testing
Blood tests for progesterone refer to the serum or plasma concentration of progesterone. Plasma is the watery portion of the blood that contains water-soluble vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins.
But sex hormones like progesterone are fat-soluble steroids. The ovary-produced progesterone found in serum is also largely protein-bound. Protein-bound progesterone is not readily bioavailable to receptors in target tissues throughout the body. It’s already on its way to the liver to be excreted in bile. Blood tests can’t detect it all.
Only 2 to 5 percent of serum progesterone is "free" or non-protein-bound – this is the progesterone that shows up in tissues and in saliva. Thus, progesterone measured by serum levels is mostly a measure of progesterone that is not going to be used by the body. A portion of your progesterone can be more easily detected in saliva. Researchers have used saliva testing to determine fertility ranges during conception cycles.
What Are the Risks or Side Effects of Progesterone Level Testing?
Drawing blood is a very common and safe procedure with few risks. Slight and temporary side effects may include minor pain, bruising, or swelling at or near the injection site. If you experience these side effects, you can expect them to subside within a day or two.
Speak with your healthcare professional or seek emergency medical attention right away if you experience any of these symptoms:
- extremely painful swelling or bruising
- heavy bleeding
- nausea or vomiting
Reserve Your Appointment Now
Unbalanced progesterone levels can severely impact your happiness and health. A hormone imbalance can disrupt your fertility, make menopause miserable, and even effect your memory.
A progesterone imbalance doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get pregnant, safely carry to term, or lose your mental acuity. There are treatment options that can help restore your progesterone to a normal level. To speak with a progesterone level testing specialist in Durham today, call (919) 301-0841 or contact Dr. Bhavna Vaidya-Tank online.
Family Wellness Clinic & Regenesis MD
Address8020 Creedmoor Rd
Raleigh, NC 27613