FIRST & ONLY FDA OVULATION CONFIRMATION TEST - 15% OFF Proov PdG Kits - Code: ProovPDG

Do progesterone levels decrease with age?

Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to confirm successful ovulation at home.

Written on 1/4/21

Progesterone is an important hormone when trying to conceive, but also for our general health. Learn more about healthy progesterone levels as you age.

What is progesterone and why is it important?

Progesterone is a female reproductive hormone that is a part of your cycle, conception, and pregnancy. Progesterone is also the hormone that confirms ovulation. It is an important hormone in all stages of a woman’s life!

During a woman’s cycle, there are two primary hormones at work: estrogen and progesterone. In the first half of your cycle, the follicular phase, estrogen is elevated and progesterone is low. Estrogen and progesterone are two essential components when it comes to hormone balance.

After ovulation occurs the corpus luteum produces progesterone during the second half of your cycle — the luteal phase. The increases and decreases in progesterone levels help control your cycle and period.

The luteal phase starts after ovulation occurs and ends the day your next period starts. It is named for the corpus luteum, which is the empty follicle from which the egg is released. During the luteal phase, the corpus luteum secretes progesterone, which is the hormone that stabilizes the uterine lining (endometrium) and prepares it to be receptive to an embryo and allow for implantation.

If conception has not occurred following the luteal phase, progesterone decreases, menstruation occurs, and the entire cycle repeats. In each stage, estrogen and progesterone fluctuate: one increases, the other decreases, and vice versa. This is referred to as a hormone balance. Hormone balance is important as hormones are the foundation for every function in your body. A balanced amount of hormones keeps you feeling your best! 

do progesterone levels decrease with age

Progesterone is a female reproductive hormone that is a part of your cycle, conception, and pregnancy. Progesterone is also the hormone that confirms ovulation.

Progesterone when trying to conceive

When trying to conceive (TTC), progesterone is required to prepare the uterus to receive an embryo, should conception have occurred and having adequate levels after ovulation is essential in this process. After progesterone circulates through the blood, it is then passed into the liver where it is metabolized and secreted into urine as PdG (Pregnanediol Glucuronide).

General health benefits of progesterone

Progesterone can affect your body as a whole. Progesterone can help increase your mood. Progesterone acts as a natural antidepressant to lower anxiety, help with mood changes, and can even help in relieving postpartum depression.

Additionally, progesterone can help relieve menopause symptoms and support bone health. Many menopause symptoms are caused by an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone as hormones change over time.

Progesterone can also help you sleep better. Progesterone can also impact your breathing while sleeping, meaning that it can reduce the occurrence of sleep apnea. Finally, progesterone can increase your overall energy by stimulating the thyroid and speeding up metabolism.

do progesterone levels decrease with age

Progesterone acts as a natural antidepressant to lower anxiety, help with mood changes, and can even help in relieving postpartum depression.

What level of progesterone is considered healthy?

Ideal progesterone levels fluctuate during the different phases of your cycle and fertility journey. An understanding of baseline progesterone levels can help you better understand your body — and identify potential problems early on. 

Progesterone can be measured via a blood (serum) test performed by your doctor. Usually, doctors order a blood test on day 21 of your cycle, approximately 7 days after ovulation, when progesterone should be the highest. When this test is done during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, it can help detect if ovulation has occurred. High levels of progesterone in the blood generally are associated with ovulation.

There are several factors that play a role in progesterone levels. This can include your age and health history. Levels can also vary depending on what stage of your menstrual cycle and pregnancy you are in.

The timing of when a progesterone blood test is performed can impact the levels of progesterone. During the menstrual cycle, about midway, blood progesterone levels start to increase. The levels continue to rise for approximately 6 to 10 days and then start to decrease if the egg is not fertilized. In early pregnancy, progesterone levels will continue to increase.

Most doctors agree that progesterone levels of 5 ng/ml or higher confirms ovulation, but actually progesterone levels of at least 10 ng/ml is ideal for optimal hormone balance.

Higher-than-normal progesterone levels could be related to pregnancy and ovulation. On the other hand, lower-than-normal results might indicate amenorrhea (no periods as a result of lack of ovulation), irregular periods, or miscarriage.

If you do conceive, you’ll want progesterone levels to continue to increase. Some medical centers recommend that progesterone should get to about 44 ng/mL during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Do progesterone levels decrease with age?

Progesterone levels do decrease with age. Progesterone levels begin declining in your late 20s, decrease significantly after age 30, and are nearly nonexistent by menopause.

In your late 30’s when progesterone production is lower, the number and quality of follicles also diminishes, creating a drop in estrogen levels and fewer ovulations. This can create variation of cycle length and menstrual flow in your 40’s. Estrogen may decline rapidly or spike higher than normal. Over time, FSH levels increase in an attempt to stimulate the ovaries into producing more estrogen.

do progesterone levels decrease with age

Progesterone levels do decrease with age. Progesterone levels begin declining in your late 20s, decrease significantly after age 30, and are nearly nonexistent by menopause.

How do I monitor my progesterone levels over time?

While serum progesterone levels provide an exact numerical value, these tests only show levels at one point in time. This can be problematic as we know that progesterone needs to remain elevated for several days during the luteal phase.

Progesterone levels can be monitored over time by tracking pregnanediol glucuronide (PdG) levels in urine. Tracking PdG is a non-invasive and convenient way to confirm ovulation. A PdG test is non-invasive and can be done at home. This test will allow you to easily track your PdG levels over multiple days.

Confirm successful ovulation with Proov

Proov is the first and only FDA cleared PdG test kit to confirm successful ovulation at home. “Successful” ovulation refers to an ovulatory event in which an egg is released and PdG levels remain adequately elevated for long enough to allow for the best possible chance at conception. Confirming successful ovulation is important when trying to conceive, but also if you are trying to monitor PdG levels for overall health.

To confirm successful ovulation with Proov, we recommend testing PdG levels on days 7, 8, 9, and 10 after peak fertility. It is best for PdG to be above 5 ug/ml (the level at which a Proov test turns positive) on all four days to indicate successful ovulation occurred.

While your hormone levels will likely change as you age, learning about your body sooner rather than later can give you the tools and information you need to live your best life!