Oestradiol (17β-oestradiol or E2) is the most active form of the three naturally produced Oestrogens (the other two being Estrone [E1] and Estriol [E3]). It plays a significant role in ovulation, conception and pregnancy and is necessary for the development of bone and other body tissues such as skin.
Oestradiol is mostly made by the ovaries in women. In men Oestradiol is mostly made in the testes but in lower amounts than in women. In both men and women, Oestradiol is also made in smaller amount by fat tissue, the brain and the walls of blood vessels.
The reference range of Oestradial for women is:
Follicular: 98 – 571 pmol/L*
Mid-cycle: 177 – 1153 pmol/L*
Luteal: 122 – 1094 pmol/L*
Post-menopausal: < 183 pmol/L*
Oestrogens are vital for many body functions and are extremely important for:
– Healthy skin (Collagen levels);
– Brain clarity (memory and concentration);
– Body temperature;
– Muscle tone;
– Blood flow; and
– Bone density.
As women approach the Menopause, their levels of Oestrogen will naturally fluctuate in a downward trajectory which can cause many unwanted symptoms. Initially these can include night sweats, hot flushes, vaginal dryness and mood swings, whilst in the longer term it can lead to osteoporosis.
Too little Oestrogen can lead to inadequate bone growth and osteoporosis and in women disrupted or absent menstrual cycle. Oestrogen also has an important role in the brain, where low levels can cause depression, fatigue and mood swings.
In women, too much Oestrogen may cause acne, constipation, loss of libido, depression, weight gain.
In men, too much Oestrogen can lead to sexual dysfunction, loss of muscle tone and increased body fat.
Oestrogen is used in BHRT to relieve the symptoms of the peri-menopause and menopause. It is important to note that Progesterone should always be prescribed alongside Oestrogen.
It can also be beneficial to the treatment of other hormone related conditions such as Endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
* Reference ranges provided by The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) and subject to change if/when methods are re-standardised from time to time.