An estradiol test (E2 test) measures the level of estradiol hormone in the bloodstream. An estradiol test may be ordered to identify one of the following conditions:
- Menstrual problems
- Ovarian tumors
- Breast cancer
- Gynecomastia, noncancerous growth of the glandular breast tissue in men
When should estradiol levels be checked?
During and after menopause, your body may have low levels of estradiol, which can cause symptoms. If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms, your doctor may order an estradiol test to determine whether you have entered menopause.
If you notice the following symptoms, your doctor may order an estradiol test to confirm the presence of an ovarian tumor:
- Pain in the lower abdominal and pelvic area
- Weight loss
- Bloating or swelling in the abdomen
- Trouble eating (feeling full after eating a small amount of food)
- Frequent urination
- Birth defects
- A high-risk pregnancy
In men, an estradiol test may help detect whether excess estrogen is causing conditions such as:
What does estradiol do in females?
During pregnancy, estradiol is released by the placenta. Usually, estradiol is produced in the ovaries and adrenal glands of women and other body tissues:
Some of the functions of estradiol include:
- Genital development
- Growth of the womb (uterus), fallopian tubes, and vagina
- Breast development
- Distribution of body fat
- Maintaining bone and joint health in women
In men, estradiol is mainly produced by the adrenal glands and testes. Although estradiol does not have much clinical importance in sexual function and development in men, it is known to prevent the destruction of sperm cells.
How to prepare for an estradiol test
The following instructions should be followed prior to an estradiol test:
- Before scheduling an appointment, let your doctor know about all the medicines you take. Your physician may ask you to stop or change the dosages of these medications, which include
- Inform about the details of your menstrual cycle because estradiol levels may vary throughout the day and during the menstrual cycle. You will have to undergo the test during a certain time of the day or time in your cycle.
- Inform your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
What happens during an estradiol test?
- Blood test: A blood sample may be collected in a test tube or vial.
- Urine test: You will collect a urine sample during a 24-hour period:
- Urinate as usual and do not collect the first urine. Note down the time.
- Collect all your urine for the next 24 hours.
- During the collection period, store the urine container in a refrigerator or cooler.
- After 24 hours, collect the last urine for the test.
- Return the container with your urine to the lab.
- Saliva test: Saliva will be collected and sent to the lab for analysis.
What do the results of an estradiol test indicate?
Test results may vary based on the following factors:
- Medical history
Normal levels of estradiol are as follows:
- 30 to 400 pg/mL for premenopausal women
- 0 to 30 pg/mL for postmenopausal women
- 10 to 50 pg/mL for men
Higher estradiol levels may indicate:
- Early puberty
- Hyperthyroidism, which is caused by an overactive thyroid gland
- Tumors in the ovaries and testes
- Liver cirrhosis
Lower estradiol levels may indicate:
- Ovarian failure
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Lower estrogen production
Estradiol (Blood). https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=167&ContentID=estradiol
Estradiol blood test. https://www.ucsfhealth.org/medical-tests/estradiol-blood-test
Estrogen Levels Test. https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/estrogen-levels-test/
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