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What is estradiol?

Marina Johnson
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

Estradiol is the quintessential hormone that makes you a woman. It can be produced by the ovary and through conversion from testosterone and other hormones found in fat cells. While estradiol is a woman’s principal hormone, it must be balanced by the right amounts of progesterone and testosterone. Without this balance, excess estrogen can lead to an increased risk of breast and/or uterine cancer. Topical estrogen, in appropriate levels, gives you protection against heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis and a better quality of life.

Estradiol is a form of the female hormone estrogen. This prescription drug is used to treat symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, irritation or burning. It is used to treat vaginal or vulval atrophy and may be used to prevent osteoporosis. Estradiol is also sometimes used as part of a cancer treatment regimen for women and men. For women, it may help relieve symptoms of breast cancer. For men, it helps treat advanced prostate cancer by antagonizing male hormones. This drug is also used as a replacement for estrogen in response to failure of the ovaries.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.