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Oestrogen (Estradiol) Testing (E2)

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How to check your Oestrogen (Estradiol) levels with a home finger-prick blood test kit

What Is An Oestrogen (Estradiol) Test For?

An Oestrogen (Estradiol) test is also known as an Estrogen, Oestrone (E1), Oestradiol (E2) and Oestriol (E3) test.

Oestrogens are steroid sex hormones responsible for female reproductive organ function and secondary sex characteristics.

Together with progesterone they regulate the menstrual cycle & help maintain a healthy pregnancy.

There are three main forms of oestrogen and this test measures oestradiol (E2) as a good marker for overall ovarian function.

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Oestrogen (Estradiol) Testing UK Statistics 2021

Icon For Oestrogen (Estradiol)

41.5% of people tested have Oestrogen (Estradiol) levels which are too low.

And 14.1% have levels that are too high.

The average Oestrogen (Estradiol) result is 3,894.8 pmol/L
Note what is normal for you may differ for your age and gender.

Human female body

Women tend to have lower Oestrogen (Estradiol) in their blood than men.

As many as one in two women tested have low levels of Oestrogen (Estradiol)

Normal range test results


of people have Oestrogen (Estradiol) blood levels in the normal range. Do you?

Are you in the 44.4% with normal results?

What If Oestrogen (Estradiol) Test Levels Are High?

What If Oestrogen (Estradiol) Test Levels Are High?

Interpretation of high oestradiol levels must be done with caution as the levels vary throughout the menstrual cycle and there are also natural daily variations.

Many metabolic conditions can lead to increased oestradiol levels. Illnesses such as impaired liver and kidney function, anaemia or high blood pressure can affect oestradiol levels.

When FSH is also high, indicative of the menopause, very high oestrogen levels can occur when a follicle has become 'super-stimulated'. This is caused by increased FSH reactivating an an ovary. Note also that very high results can occur if you are using any hormone infused creams at the time that could have transferred to the blood sample when you used the lancet on your finger.

Following a high oestradiol test result, further testing is recommended to look at the trend of your results over time and further investigation is recommended..

What If Oestrogen (Estradiol) Test Levels Are Low?

What If Oestrogen (Estradiol) Test Levels Are Low?

Interpretation of low oestradiol levels must be done with caution as the levels vary throughout the menstrual cycle and there are also natural daily variations.

Low oestrogen can be caused by many conditions. Anything which damages or affects the ovaries can lead to reduced levels of oestrogen.

As such low oestrogen can be a sign of approaching menopause. This transition period is called perimenopause and usually affects women over the age of 40.

Estrogen levels can also decline for several other reasons including:

  • excessive exercise
  • premature ovarian failure
  • being severely underweight, or having an eating disorder like anorexia
  • a low-functioning pituitary gland
  • thyroid disorders
  • chemotherapy

Women who have low levels of oestrogen may benefit from hormonal treatment.

This can reduce the risk of bone loss, cardiovascular disease, and other hormonal imbalances.

It's recommended to discuss this further with your GP.

How To Test Oestrogen (Estradiol)?

Health testing for Oestrogen (Estradiol) levels in your blood

Discover your oestrogen levels with Vitall's oestrogen test kit. Get a 24-hour turnaround with the convenience of home testing.

You can check your Oestrogen (Estradiol) levels by buying a home finger-prick blood test kit below. Your sample is then professionally analysed in an accredited laboratory for total reassurance. The Vitall Female Hormones (Menopause) Home Test Kit includes a Oestrogen (Estradiol) test and is available for just £69.

Please see the following test kits:

Other Biomarkers Often Tested With Oestrogen (Estradiol)

Why Take The Oestrogen (Estradiol) Test?

Our Female Hormone home blood test kit allows you to measure essential female sex hormones.

It is recommended for all women over 35 to assess your risk from the menopause. 

If you do have the menopause, we also recommend monitoring your Bone Health as lowered oestrogen levels put you at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (weak bones).

Note: If you are still having periods then as female hormones fluctuate over time in a natural rhythm it is important this test is taken on day three of your menstrual cycle (where day one is the first day of your period). We recommend your periods have returned to a regular cycle before testing, if you have recently stopped hormone replacement or contraception.


Menstrual Cycle For Fertility Sex Hormones Blood Test

Take control of your health without any of the inconvenience of going to the doctors with one of Vitall’s at-home blood tests.

Who Should Take The Oestrogen (Estradiol) Blood Test?

Check female sex hormones and assess menopausal status using a home finger-prick blood test kit.

You get the convenience of home testing with the reassurance of professional clinical analysis. Your results are delivered quickly & securely online.

This Female Hormones (Menopause) Test is advised if you:

  • have a low sex drive & loss of libido;
  • are aged over 35;
  • are experiencing hot flushes;
  • experience poor memory;
  • find it difficult to sleep properly;
  • have had weight gain;
  • often feel anxious for no reason;
  • suffer from chronic fatigue & tiredness;
  • want the convenience of home testing without waiting for a GP appointment;
  • need a high quality, clinically accredited test done in a professional clinical laboratory.

Take a complete health check-up with Vitall.

How Much Do Female Hormones Tests Cost?

The Vitall female hormones test is available online for just £69. Your home test kit will be dispatched by free first class post for delivery to your door.

For the best value testing you can also upgrade this female hormones home test to tests which also measure other biomarkers, including:

When you checkout to buy your female hormones test online we also offer additional options, including:

  • Upgrade to next day delivery of your home test kit for an additional £7.99.
  • Visit the Patient Reception in central London for just £25. Your female hormones test sample can be collected by a qualified nurse for immediate analysis.
  • Have a nurse visit you to collect the sample for your female hormones test, this is available within the M25 area for just £149.

Whichever option you choose at checkout, buying the best female hormones test online in the UK with Vitall ensures high quality results from an accredited laboratory.

Take control of your health today with one of Vitall’s home blood tests.

What Is Estrogen?

Oestrogen, or estrogen, is a hormone that is commonly known for regulating female reproductive functions. Nonetheless, oestrogens play a crucial role in the physiology of women, directly impacting their health and social lives.[1]
Oestrogens are more than one hormone: when we talk about ‘oestrogen’, we are talking about a family of steroid hormones whose primary function involves the development of female sexual characteristics. The female body produces three natural oestrogens:[1]

  • Oestradiol (E2) is an oestrogen produced in the ovaries of premenopausal women thanks to the regulation of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH). Oestradiol is the most abundant and potent of the three, and is the marker measured in an estrogen level test kit.
  • Oestrone (E1) is a less potent metabolite of oestradiol. It is produced in the fatty tissue and it can still be synthesised via the conversion of androstenedione (an adrenal hormone) in postmenopausal women.
  • Oestriol (E3) is also an oestradiol metabolite. It is the least common oestrogen in non-pregnant women; however, it is abundantly produced by the placenta during pregnancy.

What Does Estrogen Do?

Oestrogens are in charge of developing the sexual characteristics of the female body, which includes the function and anatomy of their reproductive system; this makes oestrogen the most important hormone for female reproduction. While these hormones are conventionally female and related to sexual characteristics, they are also important for the male body and other organs.[2]

Hormones need receptors to execute their functions. In the case of oestrogens, they have two types of receptors which can be found in the following parts of the body:

  • Genital tract: oestrogen promotes the development of female reproductive organs and regulates the menstrual and ovarian cycles.[1]
    • In the ovary, oestrogen promotes the maturation of ovarian follicles (which contain an oocyte). Around 14 days before menstruation, oestrogens make LH levels increase drastically, causing the release of the oocyte (ovulation).[3]
    • In the uterus, it helps the endometrial cells to grow during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle; this thickened endometrium is required for optimal implantation.[4]
    • In the vagina, oestrogen promotes the lubrication and development of the epithelial lining of the vagina and the vulva. This lining serves as a protective barrier from infections and other dangers.[4]
  • Breast: it promotes the development of breast cells during puberty.[1][5] It also promotes the development of mammary tissue during pregnancy and milk production post-partum.[4][6]
  • Skin: oestrogen increases the concentration of hyaluronic acid and keeps the skin hydrated.[1]
  • Bone: increases mineral density and decreases bone reabsorption, resulting in stronger bones.[1][5]
  • Liver: promotes the production of sex hormone-binding globulin, which is a transport protein that carries oestrogens from the blood to other tissues.[1]
  • Lipids: oestrogen increases triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), producing a decrease of low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This has a positive effect on lipid profile and may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.[1][7]

What Are Low Estrogen Symptoms?

Low estrogen levels mainly affect women, causing:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles.
  • Absence or complete disappearance of periods.
  • Infertility (having trouble conceiving).
  • Breast tenderness (which may be normal in the second half of the menstrual cycle, when oestrogen levels decrease naturally).
  • Fatigue.
  • Sleeping problems, such as insomnia.
  • Mood swings, including depression.
  • Decreased vaginal lubrication.
  • Increased risk of vaginal infections.
  • Increased risk of urinary tract infections.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Bone deterioration and increased risk of fractures.
  • Headaches.
  • Irregular sexual development if present during puberty.

Men can also be affected by low levels of oestrogen, resulting in:

  • Sexual dysfunction.
  • Decreased sexual desire.
  • Sleeping problems.
  • Fatigue.
  • Excess fat around the belly.

What Causes Low Estrogen Levels?

Oestrogen production rises significantly during puberty and maintains shifting levels caused by ovarian cycles throughout a woman’s reproductive life, almost coming to a halt after menopause.[8] However, oestrogen deficiency may occur in premenopausal women too:

  • Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI, commonly known as early menopause): an ovary has a limited amount of oocytes (immature eggs) that decreases after each ovulation. Eventually, oocytes reach a critically low level in the late forties to early fifties, resulting in a naturally occurring form of ovarian insufficiency (menopause).[9] When this occurs before the 40 years of age, it is called POI and may be caused by:[9]
    • Genetic problems, especially Turner syndrome.
    • Autoimmune disorders, such as autoimmune thyroiditis, Addison’s disease, type 1 diabetes, or coeliac disease.
    • Endometriosis.
    • Cigarette smoking.
    • Cancer therapy, especially chemotherapy or radiotherapy that involves the pelvis.
    • Excessive exercise, especially when associated with low weight.[10] On the other hand, 150 minutes per week of moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise may decrease the risk of breast cancer in healthy women.[11]
  • Low weight and eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia).[10]
  • Oophorectomy (surgical removal of ovaries).[8]
  • Increased prolactin levels, which reduces oestrogen production.[8]
  • Drugs that increase prolactin, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, oestrogens, anti-androgens, anti-hypertensives, etc.[8]

What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are Low?

Decreased oestrogen production opens the doors for multiple problems, evidenced by the increased risk of disease women face from the moment they reach menopause.[8] In general, women that experience low oestrogen levels (indifferent from the cause) are at increased risk of:

  • Infertility: low oestrogen levels impair ovulation and cause irregular periods.[9]
  • Vaginal atrophy: vaginal walls become thinner and the vagina turns less acid, creating a higher risk of inflammation and infections. Vaginal lubrication, another protective layer, is also impaired and results in painful intercourse.[12]
  • Tall stature: low oestrogens during puberty cause delayed epiphyseal closure, resulting in longer bones.[8]
  • Osteoporosis: loss of bone mass, bone fragility, and porosity.[8]
  • Arthralgia (joint pain): joint pain, stiffness, and dysfunction are common findings in aged postmenopausal women.[8] Low oestrogen levels may also influence the increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis seen in postmenopausal women.[13]
  • Alzheimer’s disease.[8]
  • Parkinson’s disease.[8]
  • Schizophrenia.[8]

What Are High Estrogen Symptoms?

Women with high levels of oestrogen may experience the following symptoms:

  • Irregular menstruations.
  • Heavier or lighter (spotting) menstrual bleeding.
  • The usual symptoms that appear a few days before menstruation (premenstrual syndrome) become more intense, such as mood swings, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, etc.
  • Excessive fat, especially around the pelvis (hips, waist, thighs).
  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Forgetfulness.
  • Fatigue or sleepiness.
  • Hair loss.
  • Decreased sexual desire.
  • Higher chances for developing breast lumps and uterine myomas or fibroids (benign, non-cancerous tumours).

Men can be affected by high levels of oestrogens, especially oestradiol. The symptoms may be more serious and clinically evident than those caused by low levels of oestrogen:

  • Gynaecomastia (enlargement of the breasts in males).
  • Erectile dysfunction.
  • Fertility problems.

What Causes High Estrogen Levels?

Oestrogen levels are usually altered by increased production, increased intake, or metabolic disruption.

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): this therapy employs oestrogens and, sometimes, progestogens to relieve menopause symptoms and extend the benefits of these hormones to postmenopausal women.[14] However, HRT should not cause dangerously high oestrogen levels if the treatment is taken as indicated and monitored by a physician.
  • Hormonal contraceptives: many hormonal contraceptives employ oestrogen and progestogen to prevent ovulation and, thus, pregnancy.[15] Similarly to HRT, well-guided and responsible use of contraceptives should not cause dangerously high levels of oestrogen.
  • Oestrogen-producing tumours: some ovarian tumours are capable of producing oestrogens. Granulosa cell tumours and thecomas are common examples.[16]
  • Obesity: oestrogen production in fatty tissue is increased as people gain more weight.[17]
  • Personal care and household products: numerous everyday products (cosmetics, fragrances, plastics) contain compounds that have oestrogenic-disrupting properties, resulting in increased activity. Some examples are bisphenol A, phthalates, parabens, benzophenones, nitro musks, etc.[8]

What Happens When Estrogen Levels Are High?

An excessively high concentration of oestrogens is harmful to the body and may lead to undesirable outcomes:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): this condition is characterised by plenty of hormonal disturbances (including androgens, oestrogens, and insulin) that affect oocyte maturation, prevent ovulation, and result in water-filled follicles (cysts) in the ovaries. This is a common condition that affects many women during their reproductive lives, causing hirsutism (hair growth in masculine areas), alopecia (hair loss), amenorrhoea (absent menstruations), and infertility. It also represents a risk factor for developing hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus, depression, among other diseases.[8]
  • Gynaecological cancers (endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer): the development and growth of endometrial, ovarian, and breast tissues are deeply influenced by oestrogens levels. For this reason, high levels of this hormone may facilitate the evolution of certain types of cancer in these organs.[8]
  • Other types of cancer: high oestrogen levels are also related to non-gynaecological cancers, such as gastric, lung, liver, pituitary, and thyroid cancers.[8]
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus: this condition is very rare in men and high oestrogens may play a role in its development.[8]
  • Endometriosis: caused by the growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, causing pain, bleeding, fatigue, and infertility.[8]
  • Blood clots: excessive oestrogens are associated with a small but significant risk increase for venous thromboembolism.[18]
  • Short stature: high levels of oestrogen during puberty signal the bones to stop growing earlier, resulting in short stature in boys and girls.[8]

Men may be affected by high oestrogen levels, resulting in:[8]

  • Hypogonadism (underdevelopment of male sexual characteristics).
  • Gynaecomastia (growth of breast tissue in men).
  • Prostatic cancer.

When Should Estrogen Levels Be Checked?

Oestradiol (E2) levels can be tested in the following situations:

  • Menopause symptoms.
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause.
  • Trouble conceiving (infertility).
  • Menstruations are irregular or abnormal.
  • Absent menstruations during childbearing age.
  • Delayed puberty (girls and boys).
  • Early puberty (girls).
  • Female characteristics in a boy or man (gynaecomastia).
  • Monitoring treatments for infertility.
  • Monitoring treatments for menopause.
  • Suspicion of oestrogen-producing tumours.

What Is An Estrogen Dominance Test?

Oestrogen dominance is a condition described by Dr John Lee in 1996. His theory claimed that this metabolic condition occurred when oestrogen levels were high in relation to progesterone levels. If there was an elevated oestrogen-progesterone ratio, even when oestrogen levels were normal, he considered the patient might be presenting ‘oestrogen dominance’, proposing progesterone as treatment.[19]

This has been criticised for lacking scientific evidence in the past[20] and, as our understanding of biochemistry and the ovarian cycle has advanced, the oestrogen dominance theory is now considered incorrect. The logic behind this theory suggested that a person that is going to be tested for oestrogen should also be tested for progesterone (oestrogen dominance test); however, this is misleading. Progesterone should be tested when requested by your doctor, usually during pregnancy or for the determination of ovulation date.[21]

How To Test Estrogen Levels At Home?

Vitall offers two simple ways to test oestrogen blood levels at home. You can get tested for oestrogen (E2), luteinising hormone (LH), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) with the Female Hormones (Menopause) Home Test Kit and get your results delivered securely online usually within 24 hours.

If you are looking for a fertility test, the Female Fertility (Sex Hormones) Home Test Kit may suit your needs. This home test kit includes the same hormones as the previous test kit but adds prolactin, a vital hormone during the diagnosis of oestrogen and ovulation problems.

Further Reading On Oestrogen (Estradiol) Tests At Home

[1] Ruggiero RJ, Likis FE. Estrogen: physiology, pharmacology, and formulations for replacement therapy. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2002;47(3):130-138. doi:10.1016/S1526-9523(02)00233-7. Available from:
[2] Hamilton KJ, Arao Y, Korach KS. Estrogen hormone physiology: reproductive findings from estrogen receptor mutant mice. Reprod Biol. 2014;14(1):3-8. doi:10.1016/j.repbio.2013.12.002. Available from:
[3] Holesh JE, Bass AN, Lord M. Physiology, Ovulation. [Updated 2021 May 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-.. Available from:
[4] Delgado BJ, Lopez-Ojeda W. Estrogen. [Updated 2021 Apr 15]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from:
[5] Nilsson S, Mäkelä S, Treuter E, et al. Mechanisms of estrogen action. Physiol Rev. 2001;81(4):1535-1565. doi:10.1152/physrev.2001.81.4.1535. Available from:
[6] Lee HR, Kim TH, Choi KC. Functions and physiological roles of two types of estrogen receptors, ERα and ERβ, identified by estrogen receptor knockout mouse. Lab Anim Res. 2012;28(2):71-76. doi:10.5625/lar.2012.28.2.71. Available from:
[7] Novella S, Pérez-Cremades D, Mompeón A, Hermenegildo C. Mechanisms underlying the influence of oestrogen on cardiovascular physiology in women. The Journal of Physiology. 2019 Oct;597(19):4873-4886. DOI: 10.1113/jp278063. Available from:
[8] Patel S, Homaei A, Raju AB, Meher BR. Estrogen: The necessary evil for human health, and ways to tame it. Biomed Pharmacother. 2018;102:403-411. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2018.03.078. Available from:
[9] Mikhael S, Punjala-Patel A, Gavrilova-Jordan L. Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis Disorders Impacting Female Fertility. Biomedicines. 2019;7(1):5. Published 2019 Jan 4. doi:10.3390/biomedicines7010005. Available from:
[10] Huhmann K. Menses Requires Energy: A Review of How Disordered Eating, Excessive Exercise, and High Stress Lead to Menstrual Irregularities. Clin Ther. 2020;42(3):401-407. doi:10.1016/j.clinthera.2020.01.016. Available from:
[11] Smith AJ, Phipps WR, Thomas W, Schmitz KH, Kurzer MS. The effects of aerobic exercise on estrogen metabolism in healthy premenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention : a Publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology. 2013 May;22(5):756-764. DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.epi-12-1325. Available from:
[12] Mac Bride MB, Rhodes DJ, Shuster LT. Vulvovaginal atrophy. Mayo Clin Proc. 2010;85(1):87-94. doi:10.4065/mcp.2009.0413. Available from:
[13] Bertoldo E, Adami G, Rossini M, et al. The Emerging Roles of Endocrine Hormones in Different Arthritic Disorders. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021;12:620920. Published 2021 May 21. doi:10.3389/fendo.2021.620920. Available from:
[14] National Health Service (NHS - UK). Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Accessed 12 July 2021. Available from:
[15] [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Contraception: Hormonal contraceptives. [Updated 2017 Jun 29]. Available from:
[16] Tanaka YO, Tsunoda H, Kitagawa Y, Ueno T, Yoshikawa H, Saida Y. Functioning ovarian tumors: direct and indirect findings at MR imaging. Radiographics. 2004;24 Suppl 1:S147-S166. doi:10.1148/rg.24si045501. Available from:
[17] Mair KM, Harvey KY, Henry AD, Hillyard DZ, Nilsen M, MacLean MR. Obesity alters oestrogen metabolism and contributes to pulmonary arterial hypertension. Eur Respir J. 2019;53(6):1801524. Published 2019 Jun 13. doi:10.1183/13993003.01524-2018. Available from:
[18] Vinogradova Y, Coupland C, Hippisley-Cox J. Use of hormone replacement therapy and risk of venous thromboembolism: nested case-control studies using the QResearch and CPRD databases [published correction appears in BMJ. 2019 Jan 15;364:l162]. BMJ. 2019;364:k4810. Published 2019 Jan 9. doi:10.1136/bmj.k4810. Available from:
[19] Estrogen Dominance - An Elevated Estradiol to Progesterone Ratio. Accessed 12 July 2021. Available from:
[20] Watt PJ, Hughes RB, Rettew LB, Adams R. A holistic programmatic approach to natural hormone replacement. Fam Community Health. 2003;26(1):53-63. doi:10.1097/00003727-200301000-00007. Available from:
[21] Lab Tests Online UK. Progesterone Test. Accessed 12 July 2021. Available from:

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