An estradiol test may be ordered if female or male sex characteristics are not developing at the normal rate. An estradiol level that is higher than normal indicates that an individual may be going through puberty earlier than usual. This is a condition known as precocious puberty.
Lower levels of estradiol may indicate that an individual is going through puberty late. The test may also be ordered to look for problems with the adrenal glands or to determine if treatment for hypopituitarism (decreased function of the pituitary gland) is working.
A doctor may order estradiol testing to look for causes of:
- abnormal menstrual periods
- abnormal vaginal bleeding
- infertility in women
Your doctor may also order an estradiol test if your menstrual cycle has stopped and you are experiencing symptoms of menopause.
The estradiol test can indicate how well the ovaries are working. Therefore, your doctor may also order this test if you have symptoms of an ovarian tumor. Symptoms include:
- trouble eating
- pain in the lower abdominal and pelvic area
If you are pregnant or on fertility treatments, your doctor may order this test to help monitor your progress.
An estradiol test usually cannot be used on its own to diagnose conditions. However, the results of this test may help your doctor decide if further testing is necessary.
A testosterone test checks the level of this male hormone (androgen) in the blood.Testosterone affects sexual features and development. In men, it is made in large amounts by the testicles. In both men and women, testosterone is made in small amounts by the adrenal glands; and, in women, by the ovaries.
An initial screen in adults might include dehydroepiandrosterone/ dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and bioavailable testosterone measurement. Depending on results, this may be supplemented with measurements of sex hormone-binding globulin and occasionally other androgenic steroids (eg, 17- hydroxyprogestgerone).
IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1)
An initial screen in adults might include dehydroepiandrosterone/ dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate and bioavailable testosterone measurement. Depending on results, this may be supplemented with measurements of sex hormone-binding globulin and occasionally other androgenic steroids (eg, 17- hydroxyprogesterone).