Estradiol (E2) Blood Test
The Estradiol (E2) Blood Test measures estradiol levels, one of the primary components of estrogens, in the blood.
What is an Estradiol Blood Test?
The Estradiol (E2) Blood Test is a test that will check the estradiol, also known as 17 beta-estradiol, level in the blood. The Estradiol Test is often referred to as the E2 Test. Although this is the most commonly ordered fertility test to check estradiol levels in women that have infertility problems and also for in vitro fertilization support, it is also ordered to monitor estradiol levels in fertile females and males.
What is Estradiol?
Estradiol Levels In Women
Estradiol is an estrogen and the primary female sex hormone. There are three natural estrogens in females which include Estrone (E1), Estradiol (E2), and Estriol (E3). Estradiol is the most active of all three estrogens. Estradiol is important in the regulation of the menstrual female reproductive cycles. It is released from the ovaries and adrenal glands and plays a major part in the development of female reproductive tissues including the breasts, uterus, fallopian tubes, and vagina throughout the stages of life. It also has an effect on other tissues such as bone, fat, skin, liver and the brain. It is important to compare the relationship between estradiol and progesterone when evaluating menopausal symptoms which may include hot flashes, mood disorders, and aging skin.
Estradiol Levels in Men
Males also have estradiol in their bodies although the level is much lower in comparison to females. Estradiol is released from the adrenal glands and testes. Since males lack the anatomy of females, they need to produce estrogen through a process involving aromatase, an enzyme, that changes testosterone into estradiol. Estradiol has been shown in vitro to prevent destruction of sperm cells, but its clinical importance in sexual function and development in men is less significant than in women.
What Do Test Results Mean when they are not Considered Normal Estradiol Levels?
High estradiol levels could be signs of early puberty, gynecomastia (when men develop breasts), tumors in the ovaries or testes, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland), or cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). Specifically in males, high levels of estradiol are associated with abdominal fat, enlargement of the prostate and cardiovascular risk.
Low estradiol levels may suggest menopause, ovarian failure (premature menopause which occurs when the ovaries stop functioning before the age of 40), depleted estrogen production (caused by low body fat), hypogonadism (occurs when the ovaries or testes don’t produce enough hormone), or osteoporosis.
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