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Home > Health Library > Estrogen Test
An estrogen test measures the level of the most important estrogen hormones in a blood or urine sample. It measures estradiol, estriol, and estrone.
Both men and women make estrogen hormones. Estrogens are responsible for female sexual development and function, such as breast development and the menstrual cycle. In women, estrogens are made mainly in the ovaries and in the placenta during pregnancy. Small amounts are also made by the adrenal glands. In men, small amounts of estrogens are made by the adrenal glands and testicles.
Small amounts of estrone are made throughout the body in most tissues, especially fat and muscle. This is the major source of estrogen in women who have gone through menopause.
For pregnant women, the level of estriol in the blood is used in a serum quad screening test. In most cases, this test is done between 15 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. It checks the levels of four substances in a pregnant woman's blood. They are the hormone inhibin A, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and a type of estrogen (unconjugated estriol, or uE3). The levels of these substances—along with a woman's age and other factors—help the doctor figure out the chance that the baby may have certain problems or birth defects.
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A test for estrogen is done to:
You do not need to do anything special to prepare for this test.
A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from an arm.
When a blood sample is taken, you may feel nothing at all from the needle. Or you might feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of having a problem from this test. When a blood sample is taken, a small bruise may form at the site.
Results are usually available within 24 hours.
For girls and women between puberty and menopause, estrogen levels vary throughout the menstrual cycle.
Each lab has a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should show the range that your lab uses for each test. The normal range is just a guide. Your doctor will also look at your results based on your age, health, and other factors. A value that isn't in the normal range may still be normal for you.
Many conditions can change estrogen levels. Your doctor will talk with you about any important abnormal results as they relate to your symptoms and past health.
High values may be caused by:
Low values may be caused by:
Current as of:
February 11, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Sarah Marshall MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineRSURemoved
Current as of: February 11, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & RSURemoved
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