17-OH progesterone

17-OH Progesterone Explained

17-OH progesterone hormone (17-hydroxyprogesterone) is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands in both men and women. It is a derivative of progesterone, and an important factor in sex hormone production. High levels of 17-OH progesterone can indicate congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a hormonal disorder characterized by a lack of hormones needed to regulate sex characteristics.


17-OH progesterone is an important hormone in sex development. In adults, this hormone helps maintain a healthy balance of sex hormones, and is necessary for fertility. During the early stages of fetal development, it plays a role in determining the sex of the fetus. High levels of 17-OHP are particular associated with females, and can be used to evaluate endocrine issues in newborns.


17-OH progesterone testing is generally ordered as part of a sex hormone assessment. Testing can be done using a sample of blood or saliva, and most testing takes about 20 minutes to complete. Results of the test will determine the levels of the hormone in the body and any possible health concerns related to this.

Risks/Side effects

High levels of 17-OH progesterone can cause unwanted side effects, such as facial hair growth and acne in women. Additionally, low levels of nighttime 17-OH progesterone can cause insomnia and affect overall digestion. This hormone can affect fertility as well, and levels should be monitored to avoid potential issues.


  • Blood Test - This is the most common method of testing for 17-OH progesterone.
  • Salivary Test - This test can help determine 17-OH progesterone levels throughout the day.
  • Newborn Screening Test - This test is used on infants to detect any endocrine disorders that may be causing high levels of 17-OH progesterone.


17-OH progesterone testing is usually ordered as part of a sex hormone assessment, which should be done on a regular basis. Women should get tested yearly, and men should get tested at least every two years. Additionally, newborns should be tested as soon as possible after birth to detect any congenital adrenal hyperplasia.