Estradiol – also called 17-beta-estradiol (17-β-estradiol, E2) – is an estrogen. Estrogens are hormones belonging to the steroid family which, together with progesterone, are the main hormones of women.

Estradiol (E2) is a sex hormone.

In the woman. In women, estradiol is produced by the cells of the ovary, breasts and adrenal glands. The placenta also produces it during pregnancy.

Estradiol aids in the growth and development of female sex organs including,

  • the uterus,
  • the fallopian tubes,
  • the vagina,
  • art

It also serves to “control” the way fat is distributed in the female body and is essential for the health of women’s bones and ligaments.

Estradiol then, both during their puberty and during pregnancy, stimulates the growth of the mammary glands.

In man. Estradiol is not just a female hormone. Males also have estradiol; but their level in the body is lower than that of women.

In men it is produced by the adrenal glands and testicles.

The tests to measure its values

The estradiol test consists of measuring the amount of estradiol present in the blood. This exam is also called the E2 test.

To carry out this analysis it is not necessary to be fasting, nor to follow any type of preparation, except to suspend, 72 hours before the examination, the intake of estrogen and cortisone-based drugs since these could influence the results .

Estradiol levels may vary during the day, and in relation to the woman’s menstrual cycle. As a result, your doctor may ask you to have blood tests at certain times or during certain periods of your cycle.

An estradiol test alone is not enough to make a diagnosis. However, your result may help your doctor determine if further tests are needed.

The evaluation of estradiol levels represents an index of ovarian function and of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. As for the test results, it must be said that,

  • low values  ​​may be present in cases of hermaphroditism, pseudohermaphroditism, hypogonadotropinic hypogonadism, estrogen-progestin therapy,  Turner syndrome;
  • high values ​​may be due to an ongoing pregnancy, estradiol-secreting ovarian tumors, estrogen-secreting testicular tumors, testicular tumors with adrenal hyperplasia, liver failure. 

Estradiol values ​​in women

In general, in menopause or in the absence of ovulation, women have low values ​​of estradiol, while during pregnancy they have high values.
Here are the different normal ranges of estradiol in women :

  • follicular phase, 12-266 pg/ml;
  • pre-ovulation, 118-355 pg/ml;
  • luteinica phase, 26-165 pg/ml;
  • menopause, 12-30 pg/ml.

Estradiol in drugs

Estradiol is also used in the pharmacological field, especially in drugs useful for relieving the typical symptoms of menopause.
Its active ingredient is also used in the prevention of genitourinary symptoms caused by the lack or absence of estrogen, and also in the prophylaxis of osteoporosis.(

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

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