What Are the Effects of Elevated Estradiol Levels?

Men with elevated estradiol levels may develop gynecomastia.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Estradiol is an important growth hormone in both males and females, and elevated estradiol levels may indicate the presence of a variety of health concerns. It is important to note that elevated levels are completely normal during pregnancy and menstruation. Aside from these conditions, further medical testing is often necessary if these hormone levels are higher than normal. High estradiol levels may lead to fertility problems, especially in women, and increase the risks of developing cancer involving the reproductive organs. Males with elevated estradiol levels may be tested for certain types of cancer or may develop a condition known as gynecomastia.

Endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome may cause some women to develop this condition. A medical condition in which cells which are normally confined to the uterus begin to grow in other areas of the body, endometriosis often causes severe pain, menstrual irregularities, and infertility. Polycystic ovarian syndrome can have many similar symptoms as endometriosis, although in this condition, multiple cysts typically form on one or both ovaries. Tumors that may or not be cancerous sometimes develop in the ovaries as well, and elevated estradiol levels are commonly found in these cases. Women who have extremely high levels of this hormone may be at an increased risk of miscarriage.

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Some people who have elevated levels of estradiol may also be diagnosed with a condition known as hypopituitarism. This is a relatively rare condition in which the pituitary gland does not properly produce one or more hormones necessary to promote proper health. Growth, reproductive ability, and blood pressure may be affected by this disorder, although the use of prescription medications can usually control the symptoms of hypopituitarism. The patient may be referred to an endocrinologist, a doctor who specializes in treating hormone imbalances and other conditions affecting the endocrine system.

Both males and females with elevated levels of estradiol are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer or suffering a stroke. Symptoms that should be reported to a doctor right away include breast swelling, severe stomach cramps, or numbness that affects only one side of the body. In most cases, prescription medications, often in the form of hormone replacement therapy, are successful at returning hormone levels to a normal level, although close medical monitoring is recommended in order to properly assess the estradiol levels over time. Any questions or concerns about elevated estradiol levels or the most appropriate treatment methods for an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

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stoneMason
Post 3

Just as we experience high estradiol during pregnancy, we also experience low estradiol in menopause. I think high estradiol is better than low.

ZipLine
Post 2

@fBoyle-- I think it depends on the individual. I have gynecomastia and my estradiol is steady around 48, while the reference levels are between 5 and 40 according to my doctor's lab. So it's not very high, but I'm experiencing its effects.

My doctor told me that he has a patient who has an estradiol level above 60 and he doesn't have gynecomastia. I don't think it's possible to make generalizations about this for that reason.

Do you also have abnormal estrogen levels? My estrogen is also high, these are closely connected.

fBoyle
Post 1

My doctor said that my estradiol levels are a bit higher than normal. He wants me to get another blood test next month. I haven't been put on medication or anything like that because I don't have any physical symptoms like breast growth. I'm scared that I will suddenly develop gynecomastia though.

At what levels will estradiol levels generally cause gynecomastia? Can estradiol temporarily rise and fall in men?

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