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How to test estrogen levels at home

Medically reviewed on August 17, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.


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If you want to support your body and well-being, it’s important to pay attention to the parts of your health that sometimes seem invisible—and the hormone estrogen is just one example. Estrogen plays a notable role in females’ sexual development during puberty and regulates the uterine lining during menstruation and pregnancy. [1]

While estrogen is best known as a female sex hormone, people of all sexes need some amount of estrogen to be healthy. That’s because estrogen can affect bone health, cholesterol management, body weight, insulin sensitivity, and much more. [1]

Paying attention to any hormone imbalance is crucial. Sometimes, people develop estrogen imbalances that can result in health symptoms. Knowing how to test estrogen levels at home can help you understand your options. Then, you can dive into why it's important to test your estrogen levels and when you should consider doing so.

How can I check my hormone levels at home?

You can request hormone tests to gain insight into estrogen levels through a healthcare provider—but these days, it’s far from the only option. You can check estrogen levels at home by testing the blood, urine, or saliva: [2]

  • Blood tests – At-home estrogen blood tests are quick and easy. You just need to prick your finger and collect a small blood sample in a vial. After that, you can send your sample to a lab for testing.
  • Urine tests – Estrogen tests that use urine take a little longer to administer. That’s because you need to take samples of the urine throughout a 24-hour period. To administer one of these tests, you must collect a small sample of urine every time you empty your bladder and store the samples in a refrigerator. Once you’re finished, you can send the samples to the lab.
  • Saliva tests – Lastly, you can collect a saliva sample to check your estrogen levels. Like urine tests, estrogen saliva tests typically need to be administered multiple times within one day to provide accurate results. All you need to do is spit into a test tube according to the schedule laid out by your healthcare provider.

As you can see, testing estrogen levels at home is a straightforward process. You don’t need to do anything special to prepare for your test. If you opt for a blood test, the entire process shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

What types of estrogen can you check with an at-home test?

Females and people assigned female at birth have three different types of estrogen in their bodies. Males and people assigned male at birth only have two types. [1]

The three types of estrogen that you can test for are: [1]

  • Estrone (E1) – Estrone is the primary type of estrogen in women who have entered menopause. This type of estrogen is also found in men.
  • Estradiol (E2) – Estradiol is the main type of estrogen that childbearing females produce when they aren’t pregnant. Males can also have estradiol.
  • Estriol (E3) – Estriol is a form of estrogen that peaks during pregnancy. It’s the only type of estrogen on this list that is only found in females and people assigned female at birth.

Depending on the health issues you’re experiencing, your healthcare provider may suggest testing one type of estrogen over another. For instance, estradiol may be more relevant if you’re struggling with infertility, whereas estriol may be important to check during a high-risk pregnancy.

When should estrogen levels be tested?

As with many sex hormones, your estrogen levels can fluctuate throughout the month. [1] For women and people assigned female at birth, estrogen levels are highest during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle, which takes place during the two weeks after ovulation. [3]

Different tests may need to be administered during different points in your menstrual cycle. For instance, the Everlywell at-home Women’s Fertility Test collection should be conducted on day 19 of the menstrual cycle.

Who should take an at-home estrogen test?

Now that you know how to test estrogen levels at home, you may be wondering who should pursue this kind of test.

Here are a few worthwhile reasons to check estrogen levels at home:

  • You’re experiencing symptoms that may indicate a hormonal imbalance – If estrogen is too high or too low, you may develop certain symptoms. These types of symptoms may be linked with low estrogen levels or estrogen dominance.

    They include: [1]

    • Irregular periods
    • Very heavy or light periods
    • Amenorrhea
    • Low libido
    • Infertility
    • Acne
    • Mood swings
    • Fatigue
    • Weight gain
    • Bloating
    • Brittle bones
    • Early menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes or vaginal dryness
    • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • You’re having trouble becoming pregnant – Since estrogen imbalances can lead to infertility or difficulty conceiving, you may want to test your levels if you’ve been trying to conceive for some time with no success. If estrogen levels are to blame, you and your healthcare provider can develop a treatment plan to help restore hormone levels.
  • You’re currently pregnant – If you’re already pregnant, estrogen levels can offer you and your healthcare provider some insight into the health of your pregnancy and developing fetus. For instance, estriol levels can help diagnose certain birth defects and indicate how likely you are to go into labor early. [2]
  • You’re wondering if you’re entering perimenopause or menopause – Most females or people assigned female at birth enter perimenopause during their early 40s. Menopause sets in around 10 years after that. [4] If you’re currently in this age range, an estrogen test can help you determine how far along you are in the menopausal transition.
  • You’re undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – HRT is a treatment protocol that some females use to balance their hormones and prevent menopausal symptoms. HRT is also used during gender-affirming therapy for some transgender and non-binary individuals. [5] If you’re one of these individuals, you can use an at-home estrogen test to monitor levels before, during, and after treatment.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to check estrogen levels at home. Even if you’re not experiencing any health issues or hormonal treatments, you may simply be curious about what your estrogen baseline is.

How do I know if my estrogen level is low?

Many females and people assigned female at birth struggle with low estrogen levels. Low estrogen is most commonly seen in girls who haven’t gone through puberty yet and women who are getting close to menopause. Even so, females of all ages can experience low levels of estrogen. [6]

Some symptoms of low estrogen may include: [6]

  • Irregular periods
  • Amenorrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Mood disruptions
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches
  • Tender breasts
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Reduced libido
  • Painful sex
  • Frequent UTIs
  • Decreased bone density
  • Infertility

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, conducting an at-home estrogen test can help indicate whether low estrogen may be the root cause. If test results show a hormonal imbalance, you can work with a healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan.

Risk factors for low estrogen levels

Estrogen levels naturally go down in females with age. But in addition to getting older, some outside factors can impact the body’s estrogen production.

Here are a few risk factors that can cause low estrogen: [6]

  • Overexercising
  • Extreme dieting
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Underactive pituitary glands
  • Premature ovarian failure (also known as premature menopause)
  • Turner syndrome
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Family history of hormonal issues
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Substance use disorders

How can I tell if my estrogen is too high?

Elevated levels of estrogen can impact health, too. Estrogen dominance occurs when estrogen levels exceed your levels of progesterone, another important hormone. [7] For optimal hormonal health, these two hormones need to stay within a certain range.

Like estrogen, progesterone plays a notable role in female sexual development, menstruation, and pregnancy. [8] Progesterone and estrogen work together to keep the uterine lining healthy. But if estrogen levels outpace progesterone, the uterine lining can experience an overgrowth of cells. If not treated, this cell overgrowth can lead to cancer. [9]

Here are a few symptoms that may be associated with elevated estrogen levels: [7]

  • Irregular periods
  • Very light or heavy periods
  • Dense breast tissue

In addition, having high estrogen levels in the body may lead to certain conditions, such as: [10]

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Endometriosis
  • Insulin resistance
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Since some of these conditions can be quite serious, it’s important to diagnose and treat estrogen dominance sooner than later.

Possible causes of high estrogen levels

If you have higher-than-normal estrogen levels, the body may produce too much estrogen on its own. Other times, the body may struggle to break down and remove excess estrogen.

Elevated estrogen hormone levels may also be caused by: [7]

  • Taking certain medications, such as hormonal contraceptives or HRT
  • Being overweight
  • Experiencing excess stress
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Having liver issues
  • Being exposed to synthetic xenoestrogens, such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates

If you suspect that you have elevated estrogen levels, an at-home hormone test can help you find out. If your hormone test results come back and hormones are out of balance, you can pursue treatment with your healthcare provider.

Everlywell: Test your estrogen levels at home today

Hormone testing is an important factor for many reasons. The estrogen hormone, specifically, is closely connected to many aspects of health. If levels are out of balance, taking an at-home test can help you gain the insight you need and treat any accompanying symptoms. Balancing hormone levels can also help reduce the risk of developing serious conditions, such as infertility, osteoporosis, or cancer.

If you want to pursue better hormonal health, the Everlywell at-home Women's Fertility Test can help. This test checks estrogen levels, as well as levels of:

  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone
  • Total testosterone

Are you ready to take your hormonal health into your own hands? Order your Everlywell Women’s Fertility Test today.

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References

  1. Cleveland Clinic. Estrogen. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  2. MedlinePlus. Estrogen Levels Test. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  3. NIH. The Normal Menstrual Cycle and the Control of Ovulation. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  4. NIH. What Is Menopause? URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  5. MedlinePlus. Hormone Replacement Therapy. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  6. Cleveland Clinic. Low Estrogen. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  7. Cleveland Clinic. High Estrogen. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  8. NIH. Physiology, Progesterone. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  9. Cleveland Clinic. Estrogen-Dependent Cancers. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
  10. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Estrogen Dominance. URL. Accessed August 17, 2022.
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