The Estrogen, Total, Serum test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Brief Description: The Estrogen Total test measures the overall level of estrogen in the blood. Estrogen is a group of hormones primarily produced by the ovaries in females and to a lesser extent by the testes in males. Estrogen plays a crucial role in the development and functioning of the reproductive system, as well as other physiological processes in both genders.
Also Known As: Estrogen Total IA, Estrogen Total Immunoassay, Estrogen Estrogenic Hormones Test, Estrogen Test, Total Estrogen Test, Estrogen Serum Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is an Estrogen Total test ordered?
An Estrogen Total test may be ordered in the following situations:
Assessment of Reproductive Function: It is commonly ordered as part of fertility evaluations to assess estrogen levels in both males and females. In females, it helps determine ovarian function, predict ovulation, and evaluate menstrual irregularities. In males, it aids in evaluating testicular function.
Evaluation of Hormonal Imbalances: The test may be ordered to investigate symptoms related to hormonal imbalances, such as irregular menstrual cycles, abnormal bleeding, infertility, breast development in males (gynecomastia), or signs of estrogen excess or deficiency.
Monitoring Hormone Replacement Therapy: For individuals undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT), such as estrogen replacement therapy in postmenopausal women, the Estrogen Total test helps monitor the effectiveness and dosage of the treatment.
What does an Estrogen Total blood test check for?
Estrogens are a class of steroids that have a role in the development and operation of female reproductive organs, as well as the generation of secondary sex characteristics. They help regulate the menstrual cycle, are essential in the growth of breasts and the uterus, and aid in the maintenance of a healthy pregnancy, together with another hormone, progesterone. Though they are primarily associated with women, they are also prevalent in men and play a role in bone metabolism and growth in both genders.
The amount of estrogen in a man's blood varies, but it does so much less over time and is much lower than in a woman's.
Lab tests often ordered with an Estrogen Total test:
When an Estrogen Total test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of hormonal balance, reproductive health, or the diagnosis of certain conditions. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside an Estrogen Total test:
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH):
- Purpose: These hormones regulate the menstrual cycle in women and affect estrogen production. In men, they are involved in testosterone production and sperm formation.
- Why Is It Ordered: To assess the function of the ovaries in women, including menopause status, and to evaluate the function of the testes in men.
- Purpose: In women, progesterone prepares the uterus for pregnancy and helps maintain early pregnancy.
- Why Is It Ordered: To assess the balance between estrogen and progesterone, especially in evaluating menstrual irregularities, fertility issues, or symptoms of menopause.
- Purpose: The primary male sex hormone, also present in women, where it is converted to estrogen.
- Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate the overall hormonal balance and rule out conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women or testosterone deficiency in men.
Thyroid Function Tests (TSH, Free T3, Free T4):
- Purpose: To assess thyroid function.
- Why Is It Ordered: Thyroid hormones can influence estrogen levels and reproductive health.
Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG):
- Purpose: SHBG binds to sex hormones in the blood.
- Why Is It Ordered: To understand the amount of bioavailable estrogen, as it can be affected by SHBG levels.
- Purpose: Prolactin is a hormone that can affect menstrual function and fertility in women and can affect sexual function in men.
- Why Is It Ordered: Elevated prolactin levels can disrupt the normal balance of reproductive hormones, including estrogen.
Complete Blood Count (CBC):
- Purpose: To provide a general overview of health.
- Why Is It Ordered: To rule out blood-related conditions, which can sometimes be related to hormonal imbalances.
Liver Function Test:
- Purpose: To assess liver health, as the liver metabolizes hormones.
- Why Is It Ordered: Liver diseases can affect hormone levels, including estrogen.
DHEA-S (Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate):
- Purpose: DHEA-S is an androgen that can be converted into estrogen.
- Why Is It Ordered: To assess adrenal gland function and the source of androgen that can affect estrogen levels, particularly in PCOS or adrenal disorders.
These tests, when ordered alongside an Estrogen Total test, provide a comprehensive view of hormonal status and reproductive health. They are useful in diagnosing and managing conditions related to menstrual irregularities, menopause, infertility, and hormonal imbalances. The specific tests selected will depend on the individual’s symptoms, sex, and medical history.
Conditions where an Estrogen Total test is recommended:
An Estrogen Total test may be necessary for the evaluation of the following conditions or diseases:
Menstrual Irregularities: In cases of irregular menstrual cycles, heavy or prolonged bleeding, or absence of menstruation, the test can help determine if estrogen levels are within the normal range.
Infertility: The Estrogen Total test is part of the fertility workup, as it provides insight into the hormonal status of both males and females, helping identify potential causes of infertility.
Hormonal Imbalances: Symptoms such as abnormal breast development in males (gynecomastia), precocious puberty in children, or signs of estrogen excess or deficiency may warrant an Estrogen Total test to assess hormonal imbalances.
Hormone Replacement Therapy: For individuals undergoing estrogen replacement therapy, monitoring estrogen levels through the Estrogen Total test ensures the adequacy of treatment and helps avoid potential side effects.
How does my healthcare provider use an Estrogen Total test?
Healthcare providers use the results of the Estrogen Total test to:
Evaluate Reproductive Function: Estrogen levels, in conjunction with other hormone tests, aid in assessing the functioning of the reproductive system and diagnosing fertility-related issues.
Diagnose Hormonal Imbalances: Abnormal estrogen levels can help identify hormonal imbalances and guide further diagnostic investigations and appropriate treatment.
Monitor Hormone Replacement Therapy: For individuals on hormone replacement therapy, regular monitoring of estrogen levels ensures the therapy's effectiveness and helps adjust the dosage if needed.
It is important to note that the interpretation of Estrogen Total test results requires medical expertise. Test results should be evaluated in conjunction with the patient's medical history, clinical symptoms, and other laboratory findings to make accurate diagnoses and treatment decisions.
Most Common Questions About the Estrogen Total test:
Understanding the Estrogen Total Test and Its Importance
What is the Estrogen Total test?
The Estrogen Total test is a blood test that measures the total amount of the three main types of estrogen: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). Estrogens are a group of hormones that play a key role in the development of female sexual characteristics and reproductive function.
What is the purpose of an Estrogen Total test?
The purpose of the Estrogen Total test is to evaluate estrogen levels in the body. This can be useful in a variety of situations, including investigating symptoms of hormonal imbalance, monitoring hormone replacement therapy, diagnosing menstrual irregularities or infertility, and assessing the health of the placenta and fetus during pregnancy.
Who might need an Estrogen Total test?
Individuals who might need an Estrogen Total test include women who are experiencing symptoms of estrogen deficiency or excess, such as menstrual irregularities, symptoms of menopause, or infertility. It may also be used in individuals undergoing treatment for certain forms of estrogen-dependent cancer, or in those receiving hormone replacement therapy.
Interpreting Results and Abnormal Findings
What do normal results on an Estrogen Total test look like?
Normal results for the Estrogen Total test vary widely and depend on a person's age, sex, menstrual cycle phase (in women), and whether a person is pregnant. Generally, higher levels are expected in women of reproductive age, with peaks during certain parts of the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
What could high levels of estrogen in test results indicate?
High levels of estrogen could indicate a variety of conditions, including ovarian tumors, liver disease, or estrogen-producing tumors elsewhere in the body. High estrogen levels are also expected during pregnancy and may be seen with certain medications, such as hormone replacement therapy or certain birth control pills.
What could low levels of estrogen in test results indicate?
Low levels of estrogen could be due to menopause, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premature ovarian failure, anorexia nervosa, or excessive exercise. In premenopausal women, low estrogen levels can lead to missed periods, while in postmenopausal women, low estrogen can contribute to osteoporosis.
Discussion with Healthcare Provider and Relationship with Other Tests
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider after receiving the results of my Estrogen Total test?
After receiving your Estrogen Total test results, it would be beneficial to discuss their implications, any potential underlying conditions, next steps in terms of further testing, and treatment options if necessary. Understanding your results in the context of your symptoms, medical history, and any other test results is essential.
How does the Estrogen Total test relate to other hormone tests?
The Estrogen Total test is often used alongside other hormone tests to provide a more comprehensive picture of a person's hormonal health. Other related tests may include progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and testosterone.
What other tests might be ordered if my Estrogen Total test results are abnormal?
If your Estrogen Total test results are abnormal, additional tests may be recommended to further investigate the cause. These could include other hormone tests, imaging studies like ultrasound or CT scans, or more specific tests depending on the suspected condition.
Understanding the Implications and Health Impact
What is estrogen and why is it important for health?
Estrogen is a crucial hormone that plays a major role in the development of female secondary sexual characteristics, regulation of the menstrual cycle, and maintenance of pregnancy. It also has important effects on other body systems, including the cardiovascular system, skeletal system, and brain.
What are the symptoms of having high or low estrogen levels?
High estrogen levels can cause symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, decreased sex drive, irregular menstrual periods, mood swings, and headaches. Low estrogen levels can cause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, irregular periods, and mood swings.
What long-term health issues can be caused by abnormal estrogen levels?
Long-term health issues related to abnormal estrogen levels depend on whether levels are high or low. Long-term high estrogen levels can increase the risk of breast and uterine cancers. Long-term low estrogen levels, such as those experienced during menopause, can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures.
Prevention, Risk Management, and Treatment
Can lifestyle changes influence the results of an Estrogen Total test?
Certain lifestyle factors, such as diet, physical activity, and stress levels, can influence estrogen levels and potentially the results of an Estrogen Total test. For example, maintaining a healthy weight can help regulate estrogen levels, as excess body fat can lead to increased estrogen production.
How does the Estrogen Total test aid in the management of health conditions?
The Estrogen Total test can be an important tool in diagnosing and managing a variety of health conditions related to hormonal imbalances. By providing information on estrogen levels, it can help guide treatment decisions, such as the need for hormone replacement therapy, and monitor the effectiveness of treatment.
What treatments might be considered if my estrogen levels are abnormal?
If your estrogen levels are abnormal, treatment will depend on the underlying cause. Potential treatments might include hormone replacement therapy, lifestyle changes like diet and exercise, medications to treat specific conditions like PCOS or endometriosis, or surgery in the case of tumors.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.