Also Known As: Estradiol, E2 Test, 17-Beta, IVF Estradiol
What Is An Estradiol Test?
An estradiol test measures the amount of estradiol hormone in your bloodstream. It is also commonly known as E2 or oestradiol test. Estradiol is one of the primary female sex hormones that also go by STEROID HORMONE. Some people refer to it as 17 Beta-Estradiol as it helps regulate estrous (ovulation period) and menstrual female reproductive cycles. Not only it has a major role in the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, but it is also helpful in the growth and maintenance of female reproductive tissues. The ovarian follicles naturally produce it, making it a natural hormone suitable for use in hormone replacement therapy.
It helps develop and grow female sex organs like fallopian tubes, uterus, breast, and vagina. In many cases, it helps control how the fat is distributed in your body. Estradiol is also important for better joint and bone health if you are a female.
Apart from females, males also have some amount of estradiol in their bodies. The adrenal glands and testes are responsible for making estradiol to prevent the destruction of sperm cells. However, the clinical significance of estradiol in sexual function and development in men is less effective than in women.
What Is The Test Used For?
Your doctor or health care provider may ask for this test if there is any problem with the rate at which you are male or female sex characteristics are developing. He might also subject you to an estradiol test if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Early menopause symptoms
- Abnormal menstrual periods
- Your menstrual cycle has abruptly stopped
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Infertility in females
This test helps your doctor determine if you are susceptible to developing an ovarian tumor. The doctor will immediately ask for an estradiol test if the symptoms are prompt. Check for the following symptoms:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent urination
- Bloating or swelling in the abdomen
- Trouble eating
- Pain in the pelvic area or abdomen
This blood test can also be used to keep track of your infertility treatments or if you are already expecting.
Why And When Do You Need An Estradiol Test?
The estradiol hormone is released from the adrenal glands and ovaries in females. It is also released by the placenta and other body tissues during pregnancy,, such as fat, skin, liver, brain, cells, and bone. Estradiol is very important for the following:
- Distribution of body fat
- Timely menopause
- Growth of the uterus, womb, fallopian tubes, and vagina
- Alterations and modifications of the outer genitals
- Breast development
In men, estradiol is produced by the testes to help prevent sperms from dying early. However, in women, this test is used to check:
- If the periods have stopped ( the estradiol levels may vary based on the time of the month)
- How well the ovaries, placenta, and adrenal gland is working
- If you are showing any signs and symptoms of ovarian tumor
- If female or male sexual characteristics are not developing properly
Your doctor may also order this test to see:
- If your hormone therapy is working during menopause
- If you are responding positively to the fertility treatment
This test is also effective for people with hypopituitarism and women with fertility treatments.
What Kind Of Sample Is Required For The Test?
A doctor, nurse, or lab technician will take a blood sample from your arm or hand to perform an estradiol test. First, they will clean the area and then look for a suitable vein. The medical professional will use a needle to draw a blood sample from the area, which he will then send to a laboratory for further testing.
Do You Need To Prepare For The Test?
Your doctor or Health Care provider will ask you to temporarily stop consuming certain medications that might affect estradiol test results. However, it is essential to let your doctor know about all the medicines you are taking at the moment. These might include the following:
- Birth control pills
- Antibiotics like ampicillin
- DHEA supplements
- Medications to manage mental disorders
Remember that estradiol levels are never consistent throughout the day or cycle, so getting your test done on a specific day and time is better.
Are There Any Risks To This Test?
The risks of having an estradiol test are extremely low, but some complications may occur, including:
- Feeling lightheaded or fainting
- Multiple punctures due to trouble finding a suitable vein
- Excessive bleeding
- Hematoma or accumulation of blood under the skin
- Infection at the puncture site
What Do The Test Results Mean?
According to the researchers and studies, the normal estradiol hormone levels in normal menstruating women range from 15- 350 pg/ml. This level should be lower than 10 pg/ml for postmenopausal women. The estradiol levels higher than the normal range might indicate the following problems:
- Tumors in the testes or ovaries
- Early puberty
- Cirrhosis or scarring of the liver
- Gynecomastia or development of breast in men
- Hyperthyroidism due to an overactive thyroid gland
The estradiol test results lower than the normal range suggests:
- Turner syndrome in which a female has one X chromosome instead of two
- Hypogonadism that occurs when the testes or ovaries cannot produce enough hormone
- Ovarian failure or premature menopause which occurs when the ovaries stop working before the age of 40
- Depleted estrogen production due to low body fat
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome, a female hormonal disorder with a wide range of symptoms that are the leading cause of infertility in most women
Once your doctors have the estradiol test results available, they will discuss them with you in detail then present the most effective options for treatment.
Related Tests: Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH Test, Estriol E3 test, Estrone or E1 test
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