Meno Health. Clinical Evidence.

TWC #017: What is an oestrogen test?

Today on our own behalf…

The next Meno Meet-up will take place in Basel.

What: We’ll have a relaxed chat among women about meno symptoms and solutions.

When: Thursday, 7 September 2023, 19:00

Where: QuartierOASE, Bruderholzallee 169, 4059 Basel

How much: free of charge

Registration: By email to

We look forward to meeting you in person.

What is an oestrogen test?

Oestrogen is the female sex hormone that plays an important role in many aspects of female health, such as bone health and reproduction.

We can distinguish between three main forms of oestrogen found in the body:

– Oestrone (E1): This is the second most common form of oestrogen and is mainly produced in the ovaries after the menopause.

– Oestradiol (E2): The strongest and most abundant oestrogen in the body. It is responsible for most physiological oestrogen effects.

– Oestriol (E3): The oestrogen with the weakest effect. It is mainly produced during pregnancy.

Your doctor can use the oestrogen test to determine whether you are in the menopause. The test is also used for puberty, fertility and illnesses.

When is which form of oestrogen measured?
  1. Oestrone (E1) is measured to assess the risk of osteoporosis after the menopause.
  2. Oestradiol (E2) is measured in the context of reproductive medicine and gynaecology.
  3. Oestriol (E3): is measured primarily during pregnancy.

Doctors may also recommend an oestrone (E1) or oestradiol (E2) test for the following symptoms:

– Infertility

– Vaginal bleeding after the menopause

– Menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and irregular menstrual bleeding.

– Cycle disorders

If you are taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, your doctor can carry out an E1 or E2 test to see how well the treatment is working.

Girls whose reproductive organs develop earlier or later than normal can also be tested for E1 and E2.

E3 is usually tested during pregnancy when it is temporarily the main oestrogen. This test is used to monitor the wellbeing of the foetus. The E3 level can be used to diagnose certain malformations in the unborn child, such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21) or neural tube defects (e.g. open back).

You may need to have several tests to see how your oestrogen levels change over time.

Oestrogen test procedure

You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for an oestrogen test. You don’t have to eat or drink anything before the test, as is the case with some blood tests. However, you should inform your doctor about all medications and supplements you are taking before the test. It is particularly important to tell your doctor if you are taking the pill or hormone therapy, as this can affect the test results.

The doctor can determine the oestrogen level in your urine, saliva or blood. 

24-hour urine test

For this test, your doctor or a laboratory will give you a container in which you collect urine for 24 hours. Your doctor will explain to you how the samples are collected and how to store them. The samples are then analysed in the doctor’s surgery or laboratory. 

Blood test

This is the most commonly used test. In a blood test, your doctor or another healthcare professional will take some blood from a vein in your arm. This blood sample is then analysed in the laboratory.

Results of the oestrogen test

What is considered a normal or healthy oestrogen level depends on age and gender. In women, pregnancy also has a major influence on oestrogen levels. The timing of your menstrual cycle can also influence the result. And during the menopause, oestrogen levels in the body fall. This is a consequence of the natural ageing process.

High or low levels of a particular form of oestrogen are not enough to analyse your situation. However, the test results can help to find the cause of your symptoms.

Elevated E1 or E2 levels can indicate premature puberty in girls or a tumour in the ovaries in girls and women. 

Elevated E1 and E2 levels can also be an indication of

– Liver cirrhosis (liver damage)

– Hyperthyroidism

– Tumours of the adrenal glands

In pregnant women, a high E3 level can indicate the imminent onset of labour.

Low oestrogen levels are a sign of various illnesses, e.g:

– Eating disorders

– low hormone levels in the pituitary gland

– Termination of pregnancy (when oestriol levels fall)

– Turner syndrome (hereditary disease caused by an abnormal or missing X chromosome)

– Insufficient function of the ovaries

And low oestradiol levels (E2) also occur after the menopause.

Further tests

Depending on the results of the oestrogen test and your symptoms, your doctor may recommend further tests to make a diagnosis. A common test measures the concentration of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH controls the menstrual cycle in women and stimulates egg production in the ovaries. 

We hope that we have been able to give you an overview of the topic of oestrogen testing.

In any case, it is advisable to consult an endocrinologist or gynaecologist if your oestrogen levels in the blood are out of line.

As always, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Enjoy the summer and see you next time!

Get in touch if you need help. We are here for you.

Adrian & Joëlle

PS: If you like the Meno Health information, why not send it to your friends?

Lesen Sie unsere Newsletters

Schliesse dich den vielen Abonnentinnen der Meno Health Information an. Und erhalte jeden Samstagmorgen Tipps für deine Wechseljahre. Abmeldung jederzeit möglich.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful. See our past newsletters
Alle Newsletters anzeigen