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There are three type of estrogen: estrone, estradiol and estriol. The levels of each type of estrogen present, varies at different times in a woman's life. Estradiol is about 80 times more active than estriol. At BodyLogicMD, we can test for each of the different types of estrogen using blood and saliva tests. Saliva can help determine the free (bio-available) estrogen levels while serum looks at total hormone levels.
Serum Estrogen Levels
Serum estrogen levels can be helpful in the initial stages of treatment when your physician is determining the need for hormone therapy. Serum testing is the best monitor of estradiol levels when you are being treated with a natural bioidentical estrogen patch, pellet or gel. The serum testing is not helpful if you use creams as estrogen levels do not rapidly cross into the serum. Serum is also helpful to look at total estriol and estrone levels.
Saliva Estrogen Levels
Saliva can be very useful for testing the free levels of all three types of estrogen. It is useful to check for the initial levels to determine the need for hormone therapy and to monitor estrogen levels with all types of hormone therapy. There are specific salivary ranges for estradiol levels with and without therapy and for each type of therapy (patch, pellet, cream or gel). This is because the estradiol levels can be a little higher when you're receiving treatment, so the usual "normal ranges" may not work. The only limitation with salivary measurements is when the estradiol is being given by cream base and the level gets too high, it may take 6-12 months for the salivary levels to normalize with creams. This is important to remember if you have taken any of the over-the-counter estrogen creams even a year before your appointment because it could "skew" your saliva test and give a false positive.
Why Balance Estrogen Levels?
Estrogen levels are extremely important to measure in women and men alike. The hormone has a multitude effects on the body as a whole. Estrogen levels naturally fluctuate during perimenopause and menopause in women and during andropause in men, causing several symptoms that are common to the conditions. Bioidentical hormone therapy balances your estrogen levels to an optimal range for your body which, with the balancing of your other hormones, can effectively relieve symptoms of hormonal imbalance and increase your health and longevity.
Contact a highly trained bioidentical hormone doctor near you to schedule an appointment and learn more about estrogen levels and estradiol levels and how bioidentical hormone therapy can help you restore balance.