Ovulation Progesterone Blood Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Sam Rodgers MBBS, MRCGP

Chief Medical Officer meet our doctors

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Why is progesterone important
for fertility and pregnancy?

If you’re planning a pregnancy, a healthy progesterone level is essential. Progesterone is a female sex hormone that plays a key role in preparing your body for pregnancy. After you ovulate, your progesterone level begins to rise, causing the lining of the womb to thicken in preparation for a fertilised egg to implant. If you conceive, your progesterone level should continue to rise, helping to support the early weeks of pregnancy.

How can a progesterone test
tell me if I’ve ovulated?

Measuring your progesterone level seven days before your period is due can tell you whether you’re likely to have ovulated or not. This is because your progesterone level normally starts to rise after you’ve ovulated to prepare your body for pregnancy. Your level typically peaks at day 21 of your menstrual cycle. If you haven’t ovulated, your progesterone level will be lower than expected at this point in your cycle.

When should I take
an ovulation test?

Not everyone follows a 28-day menstrual cycle. So, although it’s often called a day-21 progesterone test, an Ovulation Progesterone Blood Test should be taken seven days before your next period is due. If you often have irregular periods, it’s best to take a progesterone test on day 21 of your cycle, and then repeat it every seven days until your next period starts.

of the test

Our doctors will interpret your result and tell you whether you’re likely to have ovulated, based on your progesterone level. However, a day-21 progesterone test can’t tell you with certainty that you’ve ovulated. It also can’t tell you exactly when you ovulated. The test is only accurate if taken on the correct day of your cycle, and a borderline result may be inconclusive. In these circumstances, we suggest repeating the test at a later date. Medications like hormonal contraceptives and oestrogen/progesterone supplements can also affect your results.

What's Included?

Select profile for more information

Progesterone Progesterone is a steroid hormone produced in the corpus luteum and the adrenal glands. Its main role is to prepare the body for and support a pregnancy. It is produced in increasing amounts in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is normally tested on day 21 of your menstrual cycle to assess whether ovulation has taken place. Ê Although progesterone is considered a female hormone, men also produce progesterone in the adrenal glands and the testes. Progesterone in men plays a role in testosterone production.Ê

How to prepare
for your test?

Special Instructions

Prepare for your Ovulation Progesterone Blood Test by following these instructions. Take this test 7 days before your next period is due. It can be taken at any time if you are not having periods. If you use hormone gels, pessaries, patches, or tablets, we strongly recommend selecting a venous sample to minimise contamination sometimes seen with finger-prick tests. Otherwise, administer any hormone supplements using gloves, and make sure your fingers have not been in contact with hormone supplements for at least four weeks before taking the test. Hormones can be absorbed deep within the skin even after minimal contact and remain there for weeks despite vigorous handwashing. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed.

Frequently asked questions

What do my progesterone results mean?

The reference ranges and units used to measure your progesterone level can vary depending on the lab that analyses your sample. For guidance, the reference ranges used if you take our ovulation test seven days before your period are:

-30 nmol/L or above indicates that you’ve ovulated

-16–30 nmol/L indicates that it’s possible that you’ve ovulated, but you may have taken the test too early in your cycle

-Less than 16 nmol/L indicates that you haven’t ovulated

What can cause high or low progesterone?

There are several reasons why your progesterone test results might be outside of the normal ranges. Most commonly, low progesterone can indicate that you’re not ovulating, or maybe that you didn’t do the test at the right time in your menstrual cycle. Your level also drops naturally as you reach menopause.

A consistently high progesterone level could be due to a pregnancy or an ovarian cyst. In very rare cases, it may be caused by ovarian cancer.

How can I improve my progesterone level?

Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help support your body’s production of progesterone and increase your chances of getting pregnant. Choose foods that are rich in magnesium, zinc, vitamin B6, and omega-3 fats, such as oily fish and walnuts. Managing stress and regular exercise can also help support your hormone levels.

Can I take a progesterone blood test to check ovulation at home?

Yes, you can take our day-21 progesterone test at home using our finger-prick blood test kit. This includes everything you need including a pre-paid return envelope.

How can I test my progesterone levels at home?

Our at-home progesterone test includes a full lab analysis of your blood sample and expert medical advice including any next steps. You can view your results and doctor’s comments on your MyMedichecks dashboard.

What might stop me ovulating?


In general, ovulation stops due to an imbalance of one or more specific hormones. These hormone imbalances can occur for many reasons including stress, being underweight, and a hormonal condition like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

If you find that you aren’t ovulating (known as anovulation), lifestyle changes are often the first step, especially if your ovulation problems stem from severe stress or a significantly low or raised BMI. 

Depending on the underlying cause, medications like clomifene or gonadotrophins can also be effective at stimulating egg release. IVF may also be an option for some people. 


Fertility blood tests


If you’re trying to get pregnant, and it’s not happening as quickly as you’d hoped, you’re not alone. It’s been reported that one in seven couples in the UK face issues conceiving. A wide range of blood tests and checks are available that can help you take charge of your fertility journey. Our Fertility Buying Guide can guide you to the right tests for you and your partner.