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Progesterone is the second most important female hormone with numerous metabolic functions. One of these is increasing cerebral sugar metabolism. This hormone is not only important for the female but also for men. Actually, its presence contributes to the prevention of prostate cancer by modulating estrogen's carcinogenic effects. In a sense it balances out possible estrogen over-production by the male.
Progesterone establishes the presence of a functioning corpus luteum or luteal cell function; confirm basal body temperature measurements for the occurrence of ovulation; obtain an indication of the day of ovulation; evaluate the functional state of the corpus luteum in infertility patients; assess placental function during pregnancy; ovarian function test.
Progesterone and 17--hydroxyprogesterone are weak androgens. Increased in congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase, 17-hydroxylase, and 11--hydroxylase deficiency. It is decreased in threatened abortion, primary or secondary hypogonadism, and short luteal phase syndrome.
Values obtained with different assay methods should not be used interchangeably.