Estradiol (E2) is a female hormone that is produced by the cells of the ovaries, to a lesser extent - by the adrenal cortex.
In pregnant women, this biologically active substance is produced by the placenta. The main task of estradiol is to maintain and regulate the menstrual and reproductive functions. This system works smoothly only if the indicators of the hormonal substance are within the normal range.
About what values of estradiol are considered optimal for different ages, every woman should know.
What it is?
Estradiol is a female sex hormone belonging to the estrogen group. This element is derived from testosterone, from which it is synthesized in the cells of the ovaries. Estrogens are produced by gonadotropins - hormones of the pituitary gland: FSH and LH (follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones).
Under the influence of FSH in the first phase of the menstrual cycle, the process of egg cell maturation in the follicles begins. The largest of them is called dominant, and it is he who is responsible for the active production of estrogen. When the period of ovulation comes, the indicators of this group of fatty hormone reach their maximum values.
The next phase of the menstrual cycle is accompanied by the formation of a yellow body in the follicle. It is formed on the site of an egg that has come out of the follicle. This process is regulated by LH.
The corpus luteum is responsible for the development of another important female hormone - progesterone. It is necessary for the normal functioning of the reproductive system, fertilization of the egg, the safe course of pregnancy and the onset of labor. But there is one caveat: if progesterone in the blood rises, then the estradiol indices decrease.
In the absence of pregnancy, the ripe endometrium is rejected, menstruation occurs. This happens in each subsequent MC.
The main functional tasks of estradiol in the female body are:
- Regulation of the reproductive system. The hormone has a direct effect on the formation, maturation and rejection of the endometrium. In other words, the substance is responsible for the menstrual cycle.
- The formation and development of the mammary glands during puberty and during pregnancy. In particular, with his assistance, the development of alveoli, the milk ducts and the vascular system.
- Regulation of metabolic processes.
- Formation of musculoskeletal, nervous and vascular tissue.
- The development of female sex characteristics and the formation of the body shape of the female type.
- Libido stimulation. Estradiol is responsible for the sexual desire and sexual behavior of women during the ovulation period - the time when the probability of successful conception is highest.
- Regulation of blood clotting. Due to this hormone function, large blood loss is prevented during menstruation, or after childbirth.
Estradiol affects the psycho-emotional state of a woman, her youth, attractiveness, physical activity.
Blood test for estradiol
The analysis of venous blood for estradiol is necessary in the case of:
- instability of the menstrual cycle;
- abrupt cessation of menstruation;
- lack of menarche in adolescent girls;
- inability to conceive;
- the appearance of intermenstrual bleeding.
The blood sample is taken from 3 to 5 days of the menstrual cycle, but the study period may be assigned another. It is necessary to prepare for the collection of biomaterial in a few days. The rules of preparation are:
- The last meal should take place no later than 8 hours before going to the laboratory;
- the day before the test, it is necessary to completely eliminate intense physical exertion;
- about 2 weeks before donating blood, hormone therapy should be discontinued (this topic should be discussed with the gynecologist);
- to maintain complete emotional calm on the eve and on the day of the analysis;
- exclude alcohol 48 hours before the test;
- Do not smoke on the day of donation;
- abandon intercourse on the eve of the study.
A rough estimate of the level of estradiol can be given on the basis of ultrasound, the purpose of which is to determine the thickness of the endometrium. Diagnostics is carried out from 12 to 14 days of the MC. Another way to measure hormone levels is a pharmacological test with oral gestagen administration.
Norma estradiol in women
The hormone rate depends on the woman’s age, the period of the menstrual cycle, as well as many external and physiological factors. Normally, if the cycle is regular, an increase in the concentration of a substance is observed in the follicular phase of the MC. Maximum concentrations of biologically active substances are recorded shortly before the onset of the ovulatory phase. After its completion, estradiol indices decrease sharply.
A gradual increase in the level of the substance is observed after the rupture of the dominant follicle. It occurs closer to the middle of the luteal phase of the MC. With the onset of pregnancy, the concentration of estradiol increases significantly, remains high until delivery. A decrease in hormone levels is recorded several weeks after the end of the gestational period. During menopause, there is a decrease in the production of estrogen by the ovaries. Consequently, the level of estradiol is also reduced.
Norms of hormone by age are given in the table:
|Woman's age||Norm, pg / ml|
|Up to 2 years||There is no hormone in the body, its index in the analysis is 0|
|2-3 years||Level increases slightly to a maximum of 22|
|7-14||During puberty, the hormone level rises to 30|
|14-16 years old||30-60|
|Over 55 (menopause)||Below 85, can fall to 0|
Hormone rates during pregnancy
|Trimester of pregnancy||Norm, pg / ml|
|First (0-3 month)||from 210 to 6300|
|Second (4-6)||from 800 to 19000|
|Third (7-9)||from 11,800 to 37,000|
|After childbirth||from 23 to 139 (decrease within four days after delivery)|
Hormone rates during the menstrual cycle
|Period of the menstrual cycle||Norm, pg / ml|
|Menstruation (1-8 day)||from 68 to 1269|
|Ovulation (9-14 day)||from 131 to 1655|
|Luteal phase (15-29 day)||from 91 to 861|
It should be borne in mind that in different laboratories the results of the analysis may vary, so you should always pay attention to the form with the norms of the hormone specified in the document.
An overestimated estradiol rate is the norm exclusively for pregnant women. In all other cases, this is considered a pathological disorder requiring immediate intervention.
An increase in estradiol is accompanied by:
- the expansion of pores;
- a sharp increase in weight;
- hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands;
- increased appetite;
- irregular menstruation;
- increased fatigue;
- the formation of edema on the body.
Sometimes there may be digestive problems, mood swings and sleep problems.
An increase in estradiol may be due to a malfunction of the ovaries, or it may result from:
- failure in the synthesis of thyroid hormones;
- frequent drinking;
- pathologies of the urinary system;
- disorders of pituitary function.
Often, increased levels of estradiol occurs against the background of hepatic cirrhosis. It is this body that is responsible for the destruction of hormones. If hepatic activity is impaired, the accumulation of excess biologically active substances becomes a consequence of this.
Wrong lifestyle and exposure to certain factors also provoke hormonal disorders. A decrease in estradiol may be due to just such effects. Such a deviation adversely affects the appearance of the woman, causing:
- dryness and flaking of the epidermis;
- hair loss;
- lamination and brittle nails, their fading;
- hirsutism (male type of hair).
But the most characteristic sign of such a deviation is the delay of menstruation, as well as amenorrhea.
Low estradiol may result from:
- bad habits;
- adherence to strict diets that limit the intake of fats and carbohydrates;
- chronic fatigue;
- pituitary pathologies;
- tumors of the ovaries or other organs of the pelvis;
- sexually transmitted diseases;
- hormone-producing disorders of the thyroid gland or adrenal glands;
- severe bacterial pathologies.
In the event of the first disturbing symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor. Finding out the cause of the deviation will enable the gynecologist or endocrinologist to take the right steps to eliminate the hormonal disorder.
Estradiol during pregnancy
Despite the fact that estriol plays a major role in the body's pregnancy, estradiol indices are also quite important. Its shortage may lead to spontaneous abortion. To find out what the values of this substance should be at different periods of gestation, consider the table below.
|Gestational age||Minimum rate (pg / ml)||Maximum rate (pg / ml)|
The lack of estrogen and, in particular, estradiol, in the later stages of gestation can lead to serious difficulties during childbirth, so it is important to maintain its optimal values throughout the entire period of gestation. After birth, the hormone levels gradually decrease.
Estradiol is an important hormone from the group of estrogens, which is involved in many processes occurring in the female body. When symptoms indicate a hormonal imbalance, it is not necessary to delay a visit to a gynecologist or an endocrinologist, since it is much easier to deal with any abnormalities when they are at the initial stage of their development.