Estradiol test is used for the evaluation of reproductive ability of women as this hormone is a prominent marker present in high amount in women of reproductive age only. Estradiol test is recommended in cases like women with menstrual abnormalities, abnormal vaginal bleeding, early or delayed puberty, functioning of ovaries and analysis of fertility treatment. In boys, the Estradiol level check is recommended if any of these symptoms appear: delayed puberty, development of breasts or lack of development of penis.
How to Prepare for an Estradiol Test
There are some factors that can influence the estradiol levels. For example, medications like tetracyclines as well as drugs that contain estrogen can increase the level; while oral contraceptives can decrease estradiol level. Estradiol level can also be affected by menstrual cycles as well as medical conditions like hypertension and kidney disease. This is why it’s important to tell your physician if you are taking medications or have a preexisting medical condition before you have the estradiol blood test.
Fasting is usually not necessary in performing an estradiol lab test, and a sample of your blood will be taken and sent to the lab for analysis.
Another way to perform an estradiol test is through a 24-hour urine sample. Here, you will be collecting your urine in a container that the lab clinic has provided. You need to preserve the specimen, so save it inside the refrigerator. When you get up in the morning to pee, do not save that urine. Discard it instead, but record the time of your first pee. Within a period of 24 hours, you need to save all the urine in the special container, and once the 24-hour mark is over and you need to go again, add that amount into the container and record the time. After this, send the specimen to the lab clinic where it will be analyzed. The reason for this type of test is to measure your estradiol level by averaging them over a period of 24 hours.
What the Results Mean
The normal value of estradiol in the body is usually between 10 and 50 pg/mL in males. In females, it differs between premenopausal (30 to 400 pg/mL) and postmenopausal (0 to 30 pg/mL) women.
An elevated estradiol blood test result could mean ovarian or testicular cancer or tumor, hyperthyroidism, and cirrhosis or liver scarring. In men, an elevated estradiol level may mean gynecomastia or increased breast size in men.
An estradiol level that is lower than normal could mean polycystic ovarian syndrome, menopause, or early menopause in women. It could also mean hypopituitarism or Turner syndrome. Another reason why there would be a decreased estradiol level is hypogonadism, a disorder in which the ovaries as well as the testes are not producing adequate amounts of hormones.
Common Estradiol Test Questions
Do men also produce estrogen?
Yes, but the amount they produce are significantly lower than females.
What is an estrogen receptor and what does it do?
Estrogen receptors are where the hormone estrogen binds to. Unfortunately, tumor cells also have these receptors, so when estrogen binds to these receptors, they stimulate the tumor cells to grow and increase in size. This is why medications that block the action of estrogen are given to control or delay tumor and cancer growth.
What are phytoestrogens?
In a nutshell, phytoestrogens are environmental estrogens, meaning these estrogen-like proteins or compounds can be found from other sources like plants. Studies are now being done to use phytoestrogens as another form of hormone replacement therapy since they are safer to use.
I want to know more about estrogen?
You can get more information about estrogen from your physician. You can also do some research about estradiol at labtestsonline.org.
LabEspy recommends Lab Testing API, Save On Labs, Ulta Lab Tests for this test.