Pregnanediol is a metabolite of the molecule of progesterone, which is important for fertility and for menstruation. Pregnanediol levels increase after ovulation and when the placenta releases the hormone.
When pregnanediol levels fall during a menstrual cycle, it means that progesterone levels are less than ideal. It results in symptoms during the luteal phase.
During the adaptation of the body to menopause, progesterone levels fall and estrogen dominance begins. That’s when progesterone supplements may be offered to manage the symptoms. Some of the symptoms include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood instability, low sex drive, sleep problems, brain fog, hair loss, loss of muscle mass and strength, weight gain and anxiety.
Various normal ranges*:
*the Luteal Range is the premenopausal range. When patients are taking oral progesterone this range for progesterone metabolites is not luteal and reflects the higher levels expected when patients take oral progesterone. This test is intended to be taken in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (days 19-22 of a 28 day cycle) for premenopausal women.
You can have low levels of pregnanediol as well as high levels.
Low levels of pregnanediol are associated with any of the following:
- Breast or ovarian cancer
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy)
- When a mother is carrying a baby that is dead
- When the placenta fails
- When menstruation stops
- Sleep disturbances
- Anxiety and stress
- Edema or swelling in the body
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Generally high progesterone levels indicate you are high for the luteal phase.
High progesterone metabolites can occur with progesterone or pregnenolone supplementation.
It can also occur with stress as the adrenals release more progesterone during stress, although ovarian production will exceed adrenal production with ovulation.
High progesterone is also seen in PCOS when ovulation occurs because of excessive luteinizing hormone secretion. Some women may naturally make high levels of progesterone and, if symptom free, it is usually not concerning. Symptoms of high progesterone may include bloating, fatigue and food cravings, especially high calorie foods.
Important note: the Luteal Range is the premenopausal range. When you are taking oral progesterone this range for progesterone metabolites is not luteal and reflects the higher levels expected when people take oral progesterone.
The Oral Progesterone (100mg) - Range is 2000-9000 ng/mg
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