Estradiol, Free Serum

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Estradiol is the predominant sex hormone present in females and is also found in lower levels in men. Estradiol is one of three estrogens, the other two being estrone and estriol. Estradiol represents the major estrogen in humans. Estradiol not only impacts reproductive and sexual functioning; but also affects other systems including bone health, heart health, nerves, and metabolism. Estradiol (also known as E2) is the most active of all three estrogens commonly measured in a clinical setting. In women, it is important to compare the relationship between Estradiol and Progesterone in the evaluation of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood disorders, and aging skin. In men, high levels of estradiol are associated with abdominal fat, enlargement of the prostate, and cardiovascular risk. Estradiol in the body typically binds to proteins. The unbound portion and estradiol that is bound to proteins with low affinity reflects the concentration of free estradiol. Measuring free estradiol levels may correlate better with medical conditions, more so than measuring total estradiol levels.

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What is a test for estradiol?

The amount of the hormone estradiol in your blood is called an estradiol test or E2 test.   17 beta-estradiol is another name for the hormone estradiol. Estradiol is made by the ovaries, breasts, and adrenal glands. Estradiol is also made by the placenta while a woman is pregnant.

Estradiol helps the vagina, breasts, fallopian tubes, and uterus, which are all parts of a woman’s sex organs, grow and develop.

Estradiol helps control how fat is spread out in a woman’s body. It’s also important for the bones and joints of women.

Even though both men and women have estradiol in their bodies, men have less of it than women do. In men, estradiol is made by the adrenal glands and testes. In the lab, it has been shown that estradiol keeps sperm cells from dying, but it may not be as important for men’s sexual function and development as it is for women.

You might want to get an estradiol test if:

*The level of estradiol is higher than usual, it means that puberty is starting early. This is called precocious puberty. And lower levels of estradiol could mean that puberty is coming late.

  • Your adrenal glands are having trouble.
  • The pituitary gland isn’t working as well, which is called hypopituitarism. Also, to see if the treatment for this condition is working well.
  • Periods that aren’t normal; 
  • Bleeding that isn’t normal; 
  • Infertility in women; 
  • Periods that aren’t normal;  During and after menopause, a woman’s body slowly makes less estrogen and estradiol, which adds to the symptoms of menopause.
  • If the ovaries aren’t working right or if there’s a chance of a tumor on the ovary. This can cause bloating, pain in the lower abdomen, weight loss, going to the bathroom often, and feeling full after eating a small amount of food.
  • If you are pregnant or getting treatment for infertility, you may want to get an estradiol test to track your progress.
  • You are getting hormone therapy for changing your gender. For this treatment, it is important to check the level of estradiol.

Most of the time, an estradiol test isn’t enough to make a diagnosis on its own. But the results of this test could help you or your doctor decide if you need more tests.

The amount of estradiol in a woman’s body can also change throughout the day and with her menstrual cycle. So, your doctor may want to test your blood at a certain time of day or during a certain part of your cycle. Conditions like anemia, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and decreased liver function can change the amount of estradiol in the body.

Estradiol test results

Mayo Medical Laboratories says that normal levels of the hormone estradiol (E2) for women who are having their periods are between 15 and 350 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL). Normal levels for women who have been through menopause should be less than 10 pg/mL.

Estradiol levels that are higher than normal could mean: 

  • early puberty 
  • tumors  
  • gynecomastia, which is when men get breasts 
  • gynecomastia, which is when men get breasts 
  • cirrhosis, which is when the liver gets scarred.

If your estradiol levels are lower than normal, it could mean:

  • menopause
  • Turner syndrome, a genetic disorder in which a woman only has one X chromosome instead of two; 
  • ovarian failure, or premature menopause, which happens when the ovaries stop working before the age of 40; 
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a hormone disorder with a wide range of symptoms that’s also thought to be a leading cause of infertility in women; 
  • depleted estrogen production, which can be caused by low body fat;
  • Turner syndrome, a genetic disorder in which a woman only has one X chromosome instead of two; 
  • Hypopituitarism 
  • Hypogonadism, which occurs when the ovaries or testes don’t product enough hormone

Talk with your doctor or get help if you feel you need assistance or have abnormalities. 

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