During your stimulation cycle, you get a phone call alerting you that your estradiol level is at 250. But what does this mean exactly? Well let’s talk about it.
Where does estradiol come from?
In a normal ovulatory cycle, the hypothalamus in the brain produces a hormone called GnRH. An increase in GnRH causes the anterior pituitary, a small gland located behind the nose, to release FSH, a hormone which stimulates the ovaries to begin developing follicles for ovulation. As the follicles grow and mature, estradiol is produced.
Why do we measure estradiol levels?
During your stimulation cycle, you will come into the office approximately every 2 to 3 days for sonogram monitoring. The sonogram allows your physician to monitor the size and number of developing follicles. On the days of your sonogram appointments, you will also be asked to have blood drawn in the morning. The sonogram results as well as the results of the blood work help the doctor to determine if the dosage of medication that you are taking is correct.
What does an estradiol level mean?
As previously mentioned, growing and maturing follicles will produce estradiol that is measurable in the blood stream. So, a small number or smaller follicles will produce less estradiol. A large number of follicles or larger follicles will produce more estradiol. Because each woman is different, there is no magic number that should be attained for estradiol results. Ultimately, we don’t want to see estradiol results too low or too high. Levels that are too low may indicate that you are not responding to the medication and require a higher dose. Levels that are too high may indicate an increased risk for multiples, due to a high number of follicles, or an increased risk of the development of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).
For more information, please visit our website at http://www.txfertility.com or call us at (512) 451-0149.
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