When you visit your fertility clinic for treatments, you will probably undergo a variety of different tests in order to determine the cause of your infertility. The estradiol test is a very common diagnostic procedure used to help evaluate your ovarian reserve. In combination with the Day 3 FSH test, the estradiol test can help to determine the quantity and quality of your eggs, helping you to become pregnant.
What is Estradiol?
Estradiol is actually a type of estrogen, which is the major female reproductive hormone. Estradiol is the primary type of estrogen, and it is produced in your ovaries. As they grow and develop, your egg follicles secrete estradiol, helping to trigger the rest of the reproductive cycle.
What is the Estradiol Test?
The estradiol test is a diagnostic procedure used to measure the levels of estradiol in your blood stream. It is performed in conjuction with the Day 3 FSH test. A simple blood test, the estradiol test is performed in order to determine a woman's ovarian reserve. It is also performed in order to confirm a woman's FSH test
Performed on Day 3 of your menstrual cycle, the estradiol test is one of the most common fertility testing procedures. Most women undergoing fertility treatments will receive the estradiol test. Women have particular levels of estradiol during different stages of their menstrual cycle. By analyzing these levels on Day 3, your reproductive endocrinologist can determine your ovarian reserve. The amount of estradiol in your blood on Day 3 can also indicate whether or not your FSH test was accurate or not.
Estradiol and Infertility
High estradiol levels can have an impact on your infertility. Elevated levels of estradiol tend to indicate a problem with ovarian reserve. In high amounts, estradiol can suppress the amount of FSH in your system. This can cause your Day 3 FSH test to be inaccurate. In many cases, a high estradiol level indicates a complication with FSH and ovarian reserve. This can lead to:
- lower pregnancy rates
- poor ovulation
- poor response to ovulation-inducing fertility drugs
- poorer success rate with IVF
Who Can Benefit from the Estradiol Test?
All women undergoing fertility treatment can benefit from the estradiol test. Because it is secreted by your ovarian follicles, the amount of estradiol can indicate how far along you are in your follicular cycle. However, certain women are more likely to be offered the estradiol test, including:
- women over the age of 35
- women with unexplained infertility
- women with a normal Day 3 FSH test result
The Estradiol Test Procedure
The estradiol test procedure is extremely safe and straightforward. On Day 1 of your menstrual cycle, contact your fertility clinic and make an appointment to have the test. On Day 3 of your cycle, you will have your blood drawn from your arm. This blood sample will be sent to your clinic's laboratory for testing. Results should be available within a few days.
Normal Day 3 estradiol levels tend to be around 80 pg/mL or lower. If your estradiol levels are higher than this, than this could indicate a problem with your ovulation. You may be further into your follicular phase than you should be, or your estradiol may be masking a problem with your FSH levels.
After the Estradiol Test
Your reproductive endocrinologist will discuss your test results with you. She will also suggest any further treatments that may be helpful in achieving pregnancy. These could include the use of birth control pills or other hormonal medications.