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SEX HORMONE BINDING GLOBULINE (SHBG)

About the test
What is this test done for?
SHBG is a test to measure the sex hormones binding globulin, which is a protein made by the liver, in the blood.
Why is it Done?
The test is done to evaluate men for low testosterone and women for high testosterone production. SHBG is a protein that binds to testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estradiol. SHBG transports these hormones in the blood. So changes in the SHBG can affect the amount of hormones in the body.
When should it be performed?

The test should be performed when the following clinical signs and symptoms are seen:

  • Infertility
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Excess facial hair in women
  • Excess body hair in women
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. For doing SHBG, it is fasting is not needed prior to sample collection.
Results

The normal level in adult male is:  10 to 57 nmol/L.

The normal level in adult female is:  18 to 144nmol/L.

High SHBG is seen in:

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Liver diseases
  • Decreased sex hormone production
  • Pregnancy
  • Use of corticosteroids or oestrogen
  • Pregnancy

Low SHBG is seen in:

  • Obesity
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Androgen use
  • Cushing syndrome
Other Tests
Other hormonal tests like dihydrotestosterone, serum FSH and LH, and USG in females will help to make diagnosis of the clinical symptoms.
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