Primus Pathology Laboratory

Estrogen test

Last Updated on August 1, 2022 by Dr. Neeraj Gujar

Estrogen Test Overview

An estrogen test measures estrogen levels in blood and urine. You can also test your saliva for estrogen using an at-home kit. The hormones Estrogens play a critical role in the development and reproduction of female physical features, such as the growth of breasts, the regulation of the period, and other reproductive functions. Although estrogen is also produced by men, it is much less.

Although there are many estrogens available, only three are most commonly tested.

  • Estrone (also known as E1) is the main hormone produced by females after menopause. Menopause occurs when a woman stops having menstrual cycles and can no longer become pregnant. This usually occurs around 50 years of age.
  • Estradiol (also known as E2), is the main hormone produced by women who are not pregnant.
  • Estriol, also known as E3 or is a hormone that’s produced during pregnancy.

The measurement of estrogen levels can give important information about your Fertility (ability to get pregnant), your health, and any other health conditions.

What’s Estrogen?

Hormones in your body are like a seesaw. Your body will function properly if they are in balance. If they aren’t balanced, your body may experience problems.

Estrogen is the “female hormone”. Testosterone, on the other hand, is the “male hormone”. Each hormone can be identified by particular sex but both can be found in men and women. Women have higher levels of estrogen and men have more testosterone.

In women, estrogen helps initiate sexual development. It regulates the woman’s menstrual cycle and also affects her entire reproduction system. In premenopausal women, estrogen and progesterone levels differ from one stage to the next.

The role of estrogen in the sexual function of men is also important.

Why Test Is Done?

To help, estradiol or estrone testing is done to:

  • Find out why girls have early or late puberty
  • Monitor infertility treatments
  • Learn the reasons for late puberty among boys
  • Trouble diagnosing menstrual issues
  • Monitoring treatments for Menopause
  • Learn the causes of infertility (inability to get pregnant).
  • Look for tumors that produce estrogen

A test for estriol hormone is performed to:

  • Help diagnose certain birth defects during pregnancy.
  • Monitor a high-risk pregnancy

estrogen test

The image represents a nurse taking blood sample of a woman for blood test

Also Read: Everything about a blood test

When To Get Tested?

You may need an estradiol test or an estrone test if you –

  • Are having difficulty getting pregnant.
  • Are a woman in childbearing years who has irregular periods.
  • Have delayed or early puberty.
  • Menopause symptoms include hot flashes or night sweats.
  • After menopause vaginal bleeding
  • Are experiencing delayed puberty.
  • Are a male showing female characteristics such as breast growth

Your health care provider may request an estriol test if you are pregnant. This is part of a triple screen test. This test can determine if your baby is susceptible to Down syndrome. Although not all pregnant women should have an estriol test performed, it is highly recommended for those at higher risk of having a child with a birth defect. The factors include to get tests are:

  • A family history of birth defects
  • If you are 35 years old or older
  • Diabetic
  • Have a viral infection during pregnancy

How To Get Tested?

You don’t need any special preparations for an estrogen test.

Also Read: Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Blood Test

During the Test

You can test for estrogens in blood, urine, or saliva. Usually, blood or urine is tested at a doctor’s office. You can also perform saliva tests at home.

Blood Test:

A small needle is used by a health professional to take blood from a vein in your arm.

Once the needle has been inserted, some blood will be collected in a vial or test tube. The needle may cause a slight stinging sensation when it is inserted or removed. It usually takes less than five minutes.

Urine test:

You may be asked by your health care provider to take all the urine you have passed within 24 hours. This is known as a 24-hour urine test. Your health care provider, or a laboratory professional, will provide you with a container for collecting your urine and instructions on how best to store it. The following steps are generally included in a 24-hour urine test:

  • Your bladder should be empty in the morning. Don’t collect the urine. Keep track of the time.
  • Keep your urine in the provided container for the next 24 hours.
  • Keep your urine container in the fridge or a cooler filled with ice.
  • As instructed, return the container to your doctor’s office or laboratory.

Saliva Test:

Talk to your doctor about a saliva test at home. Your doctor can help you choose the right kit and prepare your sample.

After The Test

A blood test is not a risky procedure. Although you may feel a little bit of pain or bruise around the site where the needle was inserted, most symptoms disappear quickly.

A saliva or urine test is not known to pose a risk.

Test Results

If the estradiol and estrone levels are higher than normal, they may be due to –

  • A tumor of the eggs, adrenals, or testicles
  • Early puberty for girls, delayed puberty for boys
  • Cirrhosis

Your estradiol and estrone levels may be lower than normal due to –

  • Menopause
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries stop working after she turns 40.
  • Turner syndrome is a condition where a woman’s sexual characteristics are not properly developed.
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a common hormonal disorder that affects childbearing mothers. It is one of the most common causes of female infertility.
  • An eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa

Your estriol levels may be lower than normal if you are pregnant. This could indicate that your pregnancy is not going as planned or that your baby may have a birth defect. You will need to have more tests if the test reveals a possible birth defect.

You may be in labor sooner if you have higher levels of estriol. Normally, your estriol levels rise about four weeks before you begin labor.

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your results.

Also Read:  Red Blood Cell (RBC) Count


What are the signs of low estrogen?

The symptoms and signs of low estrogen include dry skin, weak or brittle bones, tender breasts, trouble concentrating, vaginal dryness, moodiness and irritability, irregular periods or no periods, and hot flashes.

How do you fix low estrogen levels?

One of the treatments your doctor may suggest is hormone replacement therapy. This treatment can come in many forms, and your OBGYN will help you choose the best for you. Some of them include vaginal rings, vaginal estrogen tablets, estrogen creams, and estrogen patches and pills for estrogen therapy treatment.

What vitamins can increase estrogen?

Vitamin B plays an important role in producing estrogen. Therefore, low levels of B vitamins are normally associated with reduced estrogen production. Include vitamins B2 and B6 to increase the healthy estrogen levels.


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by Dr. Neeraj Gujar

Dr. Neeraj Gujar has done his M.D. in Pathology from Government Medical College. He has worked at various organisations such as Breach Candy Hospital and Tata Memorial Hospital along with many other private organisations. During his working career, he realised the pressing need for exceptional quality diagnostic services. A diagnostic centre that can consistently give accurate results verified by a consultant doctor (M.D. Pathologist) on which your doctor can depend. This has been the founding principle of Primus Pathology and Diagnostics.

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