Testosterone (Free / Total)

Clinical definition of the testosterone test
A testosterone test measures the blood level of the male sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone plays a very important role in sexual development. It is produced mainly by the testes in boys and in much smaller amounts by the ovaries in girls. Testosterone is also produced by the adrenal glands in both girls and boy. The normal range for testosterone levels in men is broad and varies by stage of maturity and age. In women, testosterone levels are normally low. Increased testosterone levels in males indicate testicular tumors, adrenal tumors, early puberty of unknown cause in boys and congenital hyperplasia. Increased testosterone levels in female indicate PCOS, ovarian or adrenal gland tumor and congenital adrenocortical hyperplasia.

Why is the testosterone test done?
Testosterone test is done to determine the abnormal testosterone levels in males and females. Testosterone levels are used to assess erectile dysfunction in men, impotence and infertility, premature and delayed puberty in men, appearance of masculine physical features in females and as a marker for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The test is also done to check for damage or disease of the testes, ovaries, adrenal or pituitary gland. In females free testosterone levels are more important in the diagnosis of PCOD and Infertility.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the testosterone test is done?
Sign and symptoms vary in both male and female.
In males:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Lack of beard and body hair/ excessive hair fall
  • Delayed development of muscle mass
  • Lack of deepening of the voice or growth of body hair
  • Slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis
  • Decreased muscle mass
  • Development of breast tissue

In females:

  • Irregular or no menstrual periods/ scanty periods(scanty in flow and or number of days)
  • Masculine features such as facial and body hair, Skin pigmentation and thickening of skin(acanthosis nigrans)
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Low voice
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant

Who should do the testosterone test (Target population)?
Persons showing the above signs & symptoms.

What should I do before the testosterone test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

Serum

(Blood Sample)

Venipuncture

(Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm)

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my testosterone test results?

FREE TESTOSTERONE

Male

0 - 20 yrs

8.69 to 54.69 pg/ml

20 - 39  yrs

8.8 -  27.0 pg/ml

40 - 59 yrs  :

7.2  - 23.0 pg/ml

60 - 80 yrs 

5.6 - 19.0 pg/ml

Female

0 - 20 yrs

0.29 to 3.18

20 - 39  yrs

0.0  - 2.57pg/ml

40 - 59 yrs  :

0.0 - 2.03 pg/ml

60 - 80 yrs 

0.0 - 1.55 pg/ml

Follicular phase 

0.45 to 3.17 pg/ml

Leutal phase     

0.46 to 2.48 pg/ml

Oral contraseptives

0.55 to 2.01 pg/ml

Post menopausal    

0.29 to 1.73 pg/ml

TOTAL TESTOSTERONE

Male

20 to49 years

245 to 1836 ng/dL *

Above 50 yrs 

181 to 758 ng/dL

Female

Oral contraceptive

Upto 28 ng/dL

Ovulating  phase

Upto 81 ng/dL *

Post menopausal

4.0 to 74 ng/dL

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/conditions related to the testosterone test

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Amenorrhea
  • Hirsutism
  • Mumps
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Congenital adrenocortical hyperplasia
  • Klinefelter’s, Kallman’s
  • Prader-Willi syndrome
  • Adrenal tumors
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • Ovarian or adrenal gland tumor
  • Congenital adrenocortical hyperplasia

Other tests related to the testosterone test

  • Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Luteneizing hormone (LH)
  • Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG)
  • Free and bioavailable testosterone
  • Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
  • Estradiol /Estrogen
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS)
  • TSH

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Testosterone (Total)

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