Estradiol (E2) is the predominant sex hormone present in females and is also found at lower levels in men. It represents the major estrogen in humans. Estradiol not only impacts reproductive and sexual functioning, but also affects other systems including bone health, heart health, nerves, and metabolism.
E2 is the most active of all three estrogens commonly measured in a clinical setting. For women, it is important to compare the relationship between estradiol and progesterone in evaluating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, mood disorders, and aging skin.
In men, high levels of estradiol are associated with abdominal fat, enlargement of the prostate, and cardiovascular risk. In both men and women, low levels of estradiol are associated with osteoporosis.