Unconjugated Estriol (E3) test


Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is Estriol(E3)?

Estriol(E3) is one of the three estrogen family hormones. Estriol is produced in a very small amount by the metabolization of the Estradiol. Estriol(E3) is generally present in a woman’s body in varying amounts throughout the lifetime. Estriol(E3) is the main estrogen hormone involved in pregnancy since it is produced in a very measurable amount at that time. It is produced naturally by the placenta and the fetus. Other functions of Estriol are as follows:

– It is very beneficial for bioidentical hormone replacement (BHRT).

– It is highly helpful for women going through symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.

– It plays a significant role in maintaining skin integrity and mucous membrane.

What is Unconjugated Estriol(uE3)?

During the period of pregnancy, Estriol is produced by the fetus as well as the placenta. This Estriol is carried to the liver of the mother through the bloodstream. Here the Estriol gets conjugated with another enzyme which makes it more water-soluble for easy secretion via urine. About 80%-90% estriol in the blood circulates in the conjugated form and about 10%-15% estriol circulates as in the unconjugated form. Thus, the Estriol which circulates in the blood without conjugating with the enzyme in the maternal liver is known as the unconjugated Estriol.

What is the unconjugated Estriol test?

The unconjugated Estriol Test is used to measure and monitor the levels of unconjugated estriol in the blood. The level of unconjugated estriol is significantly high during pregnancy. Hence the unconjugated Estriol test is used as a part of both triple and quadruple serum marker antenatal screening tests for chromosomal and congenital anomalies.

Why did my doctor recommend me to undergo the unconjugated Estriol test?

If you are pregnant and the doctor has asked you undergo the unconjugated Estriol test, he might want to monitor the risks associated with your pregnancy. He might also suggest the unconjugated Estriol test in the case of diagnosing any birth defects in the fetus.

When should I undergo the unconjugated Estriol test?

If you are pregnant, then you must undergo the unconjugated Estriol test which is a part of triple and quadruple serum marker antenatal screening tests. The unconjugated Estriol level starts elevating from the 15th week of the gestational period. If you are in your 15th week or more of pregnancy, then the unconjugated Estriol test is highly recommended.

What are the preparations needed for the unconjugated Estradiol test?

There is no specific preparation required for the unconjugated Estradiol test.

-No fasting is required.
– Old medications are needed not to be stopped. Consulting your doctor for further guidelines is always suggested.
– There’s no inclusion of any new medications prior to the test.

What is the procedure for the Unconjugated Estriol test? 

In the case of blood sample collection, the venipuncture procedure is used. A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm. This helps to make making the veins more prominent. An elastic band can also be used instead of the tourniquet.

A syringe or needle is used to draws the blood by puncturing the vein.
The blood is collected drawn into the tube of the syringe after drawn from the veins. The tourniquet is unwrapped after the blood sample is collected. An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture. This helps to avoid any further infection in the future.

The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put on the spot of the puncture to stop any further bleeding. The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Unconjugated Estriol Test.

Is the Unconjugated Estriol Test procedure painful?

There’s no pain associated with the collection of the blood sample. A person might feel a pin pricking sensation for a very brief moment after the test. The pain wears off within a few hours.

What are the risks of the Unconjugated Estriol Test?

There are no risks related to this test. The procedure of blood collection might have some risks associated with it:

– Some people feeling of light-headedness and dizzy after the blood is drawn is very common. It might cause Hematoma (in which the blood accumulating under the skin causing forming a lump or resulting in a bruise).

– There might be pain associated with too many punctures for finding a vein. If you have had too many punctures for finding a vein, there might be mild to moderate pain associated with too many punctures. This feeling wears off within a few hours.

What is the price of the Unconjugated Estriol Test in India?

The unconjugated Estriol test is done along with two other tests in case of a triple marker test and with 3 more tests in case of the quadruple marker test. The cost of the package test in India lies within the range of Rs 2000-5000.

When will I get my results for the unconjugated Estriol test?

You will get your result within a week or two.

What does my unconjugated Estriol test result depict?

The clinical range of the unconjugated estriol has been. revealed to rise during the term of pregnancy. The mean estriol increases from 4.2 ng/ml(nanogram per milliliter) at 20 weeks to 14.9 ng/ml(nanogram per milliliter). The higher levels of the unconjugated estriol are considered normal whereas the lower levels of the unconjugated estriol have adverse effects on the fetus.

What does it mean if I have a lower level of Unconjugated Estriol?

Having a lower level of the unconjugated estriol during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for early death and placental sulfatase deficiency. The lower levels of the unconjugated estriol also lead to prematurity, growth restriction and X-linked ichthyosis.

Is the Unconjugated estriol Test compulsory to undergo for every pregnant woman?

The Unconjugated estriol test is a part of the triple marker test as well as the quadruple marker test which are used for determining any defects in the unborn. Thus the unconjugated estriol test is very significantly recommended as a compulsory test for every pregnant woman.

What are the other tests related to the Unconjugated estriol test?

Your doctor will generally recommend other tests along with the Unconjugated Estriol test. In the case of the triple marker test, there are two more tests associated with the unconjugated Estriol test. The tests are: 

AFP(Alpha Feto Protein)
– HCG(Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

In the case of the quadruple marker test, there are three more tests associated with the unconjugated Estriol test. The tests are: 

– AFP(Alpha Feto Protein)
HCG(Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
– Inhibin A( a hormone produced by the placenta)

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