Do a progesterone test at home to check if you’ve released an egg from your ovaries
Prices from £35.00
A progesterone test is a finger prick blood test that helps you find out what your levels of progesterone are at a specific point during your monthly menstrual cycle.
You may need to do a progesterone test to find out if you are releasing an egg from your ovaries, so you can try to get pregnant. It can also help you check in on your fertility and support your pregnancy journey.
Having a certain level of progesterone in your blood might be a sign that you have released an egg from your ovaries this month. This information is useful for checking if you are likely to be ovulating in general, and whether you can try to get pregnant in the normal way going forward.
1 test kit(s) - £35.00
A progesterone test helps you find out if you have released an egg from one of your ovaries. Having a high level of progesterone means that you have released an egg, and there is a good chance that you can get pregnant.
The test tells you the amount of progesterone you have in your blood at the time you collect your blood sample. To get the best result, you should collect your blood sample 7 days before you expect to get your period.
This is because when you produce an egg from your ovaries, it starts to travel down your fallopian tubes and into your womb where sperm can fertilise it. To prepare for a fertilised egg, you will naturally produce progesterone to support the development of a baby. High progesterone levels build up the lining of your womb and you can detect this with a progesterone test to help you find out if you’ve produced an egg during your current cycle.
If you do not get pregnant, your progesterone levels drop and the lining of your womb breaks down. This is known as a period, and your progesterone levels will be low around this time.
The best time to do a progesterone test is 7 days before your next period is due, in the second half of your cycle. This is when you are most likely to release an egg from your ovaries, and we call it the ‘mid luteal phase’.
Your mid luteal phase will depend on how long your menstrual cycle is. Your menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your period and ends when you start your next period. The gap in between is the length of your cycle and it can usually be anywhere from 21 to 35 days as it’s unique to you.
We recommend you keep a regular diary of when you have your period, so you can predict when you are within 7 days of your next one. This will help you take the progesterone test at the right time and get an accurate result.
Your progesterone test kit will come with everything you need, to help you take a small blood sample. You then put your blood sample in a secure box and send it off in the post to our trusted lab.
You’ll get your results within 2 or 3 days from one of our doctors. They will help you understand what your results mean and advise you on what to do next.
The packaging of your test kit is secure and unmarked, making it discreet and safe to use at home.
Our service is completely confidential and we do not share your results with anyone without your permission.
To make sure your progesterone test result is accurate, you should do your progesterone test around 7 days before the first day of your next period. During this time, an egg should have already been released from your ovaries and your progesterone levels will be at their highest.
We recommend you keep a diary of when you’ve had your last few periods and look for a regular pattern. Being able to pinpoint 7 days before your period will help you get an accurate result from your progesterone test.
If you find out that your periods are irregular, the results of one progesterone test might be less useful. Your results may show that your levels of progesterone are lower than they should be and this might mean you are not ovulating (releasing an egg). However, to check if this is true, you may need to do a progesterone test more than once during your cycle to get an accurate idea of when you release an egg.
A doctor may recommend that you repeat your progesterone test once a week until you have your next period. This should help you get an accurate view of how your progesterone levels are changing throughout your cycle. Then they will help you make a plan to get pregnant if needed.
You should take a progesterone test 7 days before the first day of your menstrual cycle, which is the first day of your period (when you start to bleed).
This will help you get an idea of when your ovaries release an egg, as it normally happens in the second half of your menstrual cycle. Your progesterone levels will be higher than normal during and after the time that you’ve released an egg, and it will be ready to be fertilised by sperm. It also means it’s a good time to try for a baby, as progesterone will help build the lining of your womb. This prepares the foundation for a placenta to form, which will support the development of your baby during your pregnancy.
Sometimes, you may need to take a second progesterone test as recommended by your doctor. This is because taking one progesterone test on its own may not be accurate enough for them to recommend:
- whether you can try for a baby, as you may need to take more than one progesterone test if your periods are irregular
- if you need treatment for high progesterone levels
- if you need treatment for low progesterone levels
- a different test that you may need to do at the same time to confirm a diagnosis of a certain condition
You should not be taking any tablets that contain progesterone (or progestogen) if you want to take a progesterone test to check if you are fertile. This includes contraceptive pills, like Cerazette or Noriday, or period delay tablets like Utovlan or Provera.
A progesterone test can check the amount of progesterone in your blood on the day of the test, and this can help tell you if:
- you have released an egg from your ovaries
- you are pregnant, and how long you’ve been pregnant
- your levels of progesterone are too high
- your levels of progesterone are too low
Depending on your levels of progesterone, a doctor will advise you on whether you need to do another progesterone test or other tests to check on the state of your health.
Your progesterone test results should tell you whether you have released an egg from your ovaries that month. If your progesterone levels were within a certain range, there’s a good chance you have released an egg. It should give you the confidence to try for a baby without any further tests.
You can always test your progesterone levels again next month if you want to confirm your progesterone test results.
However, if your levels of progesterone test results are too high, you might:
- be pregnant
- have a cyst
- have a problem with your adrenal gland that sits above your kidneys
- have ovarian cancer
A doctor may recommend further tests or scans to confirm what may be causing your high progesterone levels.
If your levels of progesterone test results are too low, you might:
- be having an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the womb)
- have had a miscarriage
- have fertility problems
A doctor may recommend treatment for low progesterone and further tests.
For example, you may want to consider doing an AMH test to check your ovarian reserve.
There are treatments for low progesterone and they are available as:
- tablets that you swallow
- creams or gels that you apply on your vagina
- patches that you stick on your skin
- vaginal suppositories, which are soft capsules that you put into your vagina
- injections that slowly release progesterone into your blood over a long time
These treatments would normally be prescribed by fertility specialists and aren’t currently available through ZAVA.
A doctor may recommend a treatment for low progesterone after you do more than one progesterone test. These additional tests will help confirm that your progesterone levels are lower than they should be and that you may benefit from treatment.
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.Meet our doctors
Article created: 24 Dec 2021
Last reviewed: 24 Dec 2021