The female sex hormone, progesterone, plays a crucial role in the menstrual cycle and the maintenance of pregnancy - two critical aspects of a woman’s health. That said, when it comes to sex hormones, too much of a good thing isn’t always great; a change in weight, water retention and changes in sex drive may all be a result of high progesterone levels.

Let’s have a look at high progesterone levels and the signs and side effects that come along with it.

What Are The Signs Of High Progesterone?

Progesterone levels can be affected because of hormone replacement therapy, the oral contraceptive pill, progesterone supplements or, of course - pregnancy[1]. As a result, from time to time, it’s possible for progesterone levels to rise slightly higher than ‘normal’.

Though high levels of progesterone are sometimes associated with congenital adrenal hyperplasia [2] - a group of inherited disorders that affect the adrenal gland[3], there are said to be no severe consequences of having too much progesterone.

Here are the most common signs of high progesterone levels:

  • Weight fluctuations
  • Fatigue
  • Bloating
  • Discomfort or pain in the legs
  • Water retention
  • Changes to sex drive/libido

What Are The Side Effects Of High Progesterone?

High progesterone levels and negative side effects don’t usually go hand in hand. Though, if you’re experiencing high progesterone levels and you’re not pregnant, it’s possible that it could be a result of a health condition, these include:

  • Ovarian cysts [5]
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia [6]
  • Adrenal cancer[7]

How Do I Test My Progesterone Levels?

You can test your progesterone levels with your family doctor or from home with a simple blood test.

Why do I have to check my progesterone levels on day 21?

Let’sGetChecked’s Progesterone Test monitors ovulation on Day 21 of your cycle. The test has to be taken on this day of the menstrual cycle as progesterone levels rise following ovulation or the release of eggs from the ovaries.


  1. M. D. Stephenson and D. McQueen Et. Al, Luteal start vaginal micronized progesterone improves pregnancy success in women with recurrent pregnancy loss. Online: Elsevier, 2017

  2. You and Your Hormones, Progesterone. Online:, 2018

  3. Mayo Clinic Staff, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia. Online:, 2019

  4. Dr. W. Childs, The Complete List of High Progesterone Symptoms In Women. Online:, 2019

  5. Mayo Clinic Staff, Ovarian Cysts. Online:, 2019

  6. A. Rizwan and M. Hayat, Unusual case of congenital adrenal hyperplasia: polymenorrhagia and markedly high 17-OH progesterone levels in a lady with non-classic congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Online: Endocrine Abstracts, 2011

  7. Mayo Clinic Staff, Adrenal Cancer. Online:, 2019