17 OH Progesterone (17OHP)

Clinical definition of the 17 OH Progesterone test
Measurement of 17-hydroxyprogesterone levels are useful in the evaluation of patients with suspected congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). CAH is a group of inherited disorders caused by defective enzymes, namely 21-hydroxylase and 11β-hydroxylase which lead to a build-up of 17OHP (17 OH Progesterone) in the blood. This hormone is primarily produced in the adrenal glands and to some degree in the gonads, specifically the corpus luteum of the ovary.

Why is the 17 OH Progesterone test done?
This test is generally asked for screening, detection, and monitoring treatment of suspected cases of CAH in neonates (newborn), older children and adults. It may also be done in adults along with other hormonal assays to rule out cases of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and infertility and also in rare cases to evaluate suspected cases of adrenal and ovarian cancers.  

What are the common signs and symptoms when the 17 OH Progesterone test is done?

  • Unexplained dehydration, lethargy and poor appetite in infants
  • Low blood pressure
  • Ambiguous genitals
  • Early virility (male or female)
  • Early development of acne and pubic hair (signs of precocious puberty)
  • Hirsutism, especially in women
  • Irregularity or absence of menstrual cycles

Who should do the 17 OH Progesterone test (Target population)?

  • Infants, older children or adults having symptoms as above.
  • Women suspected to have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Infertility in females

What should I do before the 17 OH Progesterone test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions during specimen collection*

Serum (Blood)

Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my 17 OH Progesterone test results?


Normal Range

Adult Females

Follicular Phase

15-70 ng/dl

Luteal phase

35-290 ng/dl


3-90 ng/dl

Inference: Significantly elevated concentrations of 17-OHP in neonates and infants suggest CAH. Moderately increased levels, suggest a less severe case of CAH, 11-beta-hydroxylase enzyme deficiency or a false positive test. Normal 17-OHP results mean that it is likely that the person does not have CAH due to a 21-hydroxylase deficiency. Low or decreasing concentrations in a person with CAH indicate a good prophylactic response to treatment.
‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/conditions related to the 17 OH Progesterone test

  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Adrenal and ovarian neoplasm
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Infertility

Other tests related to the 17 OH Progesterone test

  • Cortisol
  • ACTH
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione