Ordering the Estradiol (E2) with Access Medical Laboratories
Estrogens are a group of steroids responsible for the development and function of reproductive organs and the formation of secondary sex characteristics in women.
Estrogens and progesterone help to regulate the menstrual cycle, are involved in the growth of breasts and the uterus, and help to maintain a healthy pregnancy. They are considered the main sex hormones for women, although they are also found in men and play a role in bone metabolism and growth in both sexes.
What is E2?
Estradiol (E2) is a form of the hormone estrogen. It is primarily produced in the ovaries under stimulation of FSH and LH in pre-menopausal women and the testicles in men. It's also called 17 beta-estradiol. The ovaries, breasts, and adrenal glands produce this hormone, and during pregnancy, the placenta also produces estradiol.
E2 is the most potent estrogen and is present in the highest concentration in non-pregnant, pre-menopausal women. Estradiol levels are a good marker of ovarian function, and they vary depending on a woman's age and reproductive status.
Which Patients is the Estradiol (E2) Test from Access Medical Laboratories Best Used For?
- An estradiol test usually is not requested alone to make a diagnosis. However, the test results may help a physician decide if further testing is necessary.
- The physician may order an estradiol test if sex characteristics in a woman or a man are not developing at the standard rate. An estradiol level higher than the normal range may indicate puberty is happening earlier than usual, also known as precocious puberty. On the other hand, lower levels of estradiol may indicate late puberty.
- The Estradiol (E2) test can help the physician determine if there are problems with the adrenal glands. It can also help determine if treatment for hypopituitarism is working.
- The test may also be requested to investigate the causes of abnormal menstrual periods, vaginal bleeding, and infertility in women.
- The physician may also order an estradiol test in women whose menstrual cycle has stopped or with symptoms of menopause. A woman's body will gradually produce less estrogen and estradiol during and after menopause.
- The estradiol test can also indicate how well the ovaries are working and can help to diagnose an ovarian tumor.
- People undergoing transgender hormone therapy may also receive estradiol as part of their treatment. In this case, their estradiol levels may be regularly tested and monitored.
Be sure to ask patients about all the medicines they are currently on. Including:
- Birth control pills
- DHEA (a supplement)
- Medications to manage mental disorders (such as phenothiazine)