Estradiol, also known as estrogen, is a hormone that is primarily produced by the ovaries, although it can also be produced by the placenta during pregnancy. It plays an essential role in the female reproductive system, particularly in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
During the menstrual cycle, estradiol helps to stimulate the growth and development of ovarian follicles, which contain the eggs that will eventually be released during ovulation. Estradiol also helps to thicken the endometrial lining of the uterus in preparation for a potential pregnancy.
In pregnancy, estradiol continues to play a critical role in the growth and development of the fetus. It helps to maintain the endometrial lining, which provides nourishment and support for the developing embryo. Estradiol also helps to regulate the production of other hormones, such as progesterone, that are important for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
In IVF cycles, monitoring estradiol levels is essential to ensure that the follicles are growing and developing correctly. Estradiol levels can help the medical team determine the most appropriate medication dosage and timing for administering medications.
Overall, estradiol is a crucial hormone in the female reproductive system, playing a key role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.