Estradiol is characterized by the greatest biological activity among estrogens belonging to the group of steroids. Below we will answer the question” what is estradiol?”, as well as describe its functions and use as a medical remedy.
What is estradiol?
Estradiol is an estrogenic steroid hormone that is “manufactured” by the ovaries, adrenal cortex, peripheral tissues, placenta, and testes of men. In addition to the ovaries & adrenal glands, a small percentage of estradiol is produced during the synthesis of testosterone. This hormone helps in the formation and further work of the reproductive system. Estradiol is one of the key female hormones. It is present in small amount in male persons.
In a female body, estradiol is produced by the reproductive system & adrenal glands, while in a pregnant woman part the estradiol is produced by the placenta. As the placenta forms by the 2nd trimester, the estradiol level during this period is intensively increased. After birth, the hormone level returns to normal in 5-6 days. The lowest measures (equal to male ones) are diagnosed in women during menopause.
What does estradiol do in the female body?
Let’s find the answer to the question: what does estradiol do in the female body? Estradiol is one of the most active hormones in the organism among estrogens of steroid groups. Its level in the female organism is constantly changing: when the ovaries are stimulated by FSH, LH and progesterone, when the egg passes the fallopian tubes and when the uterus is preparing for conception.
Daily fluctuations in the rate of estradiol are related to the rhythm of excretion of LH. The peak of activity occurs at 15-18 pm, and the reduction of rhythm is observed from midnight to 2 am.
In the body of a woman of childbearing age, the level of hormones changes at each phase of the cycle. From the first days, the concentration of estradiol increases and reaches a maximum with ovulation. After the release of the egg, its amount decreases sharply and rises again, but not so intensely. The final decline occurs at the end of the yellow body phase.
Low levels are always observed at the very beginning of the menstrual cycle, while high levels are typical for the period of ovulation, when the egg leaves the ovary and moves towards the sperm. Estradiol promotes normal ovulation and successful conception. During pregnancy, this hormone is almost as important as the so-called pregnancy hormone – progesterone. Estradiol is responsible for maintaining pregnancy.
Here is a generalized list of the functions of estradiol in the female body:
- correct development of the reproductive system;
- formation of organs;
- formation of a female figure type;
- uterus development, formation of its endometrium;
- assistance in the development of muscles;
- regulation of blood flow in the uterus;
- regulation of cholesterol levels;
- assistance in the replenishment of energy reserves;
- strengthening of the vessels inside the uterus;
- strengthening of the bone structure;
- maintaining the tone;
- accumulation of fat layer on the belly, thighs and other places.
What does estradiol do in the male body?
Estradiol performs important functions in the male body. Recent studies have shown that it is important for spermatogenesis, libido and sexual function in general. At the same time, scientists have not indicated the precise role of estradiol un the functioning of the reproductive system of men. However, they have concluded that the balance of hormones in the male body namely testosterone, estradiol and progesterone is an indispensable condition of sexual health and normal reproductive function.
In addition, estrogens jointly with testosterone model libido and behavior in male persons. Moreover, like in women, estrogens in men are responsible for the processes of hydration and maintenance of skin turgor, as well as regulate the formation of skin collagen (skin elasticity), hair growth, spermatogenesis processes, etc.
What is estradiol used for?
When we say “what is estradiol used for”, we mean medicines based on synthetic estradiol, we do not imply the natural hormone that is synthetized in the human body.
Medications based on synthetic estradiol are used to fight against menopausal symptoms like hot flashes & vaginal dryness, burning and inflammation. Other uses of this medication include the prevention of osteoporosis in postmenopausal female persons and estrogen replacement therapy in female persons with ovarian disorders or other disorders that lead to a deficiency of endogenous estrogens in the body.
This hormonal substance is sometimes used as an element of therapy in the treatment of cancer in male & female persons. The medicament can also be administered for other purposes that haven’t been listed above.
OTC steroid creams based on vegetable analogues of estradiol are also available on the market. These creams are often presented as bioidentical HRT (read more on testosterone replacement therapy). However, doctors warn that these means are not medications approved by the US FDA and regulators in most other countries. Therefore, the state does not actually control the contents of these drugs. The FDA advises consumers to be careful about the claims that these remedies are safer than prescription estrogen-based creams, and to bear in mind that they may have the same health risks and adverse events as those prescribed by the doctor (i.e. RX creams).
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