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TESTOSTERONE

About the test
What is this test done for?
testosterone blood test checks the level of the male hormone (androgen) in the blood and is used to diagnose conditions dependant on its blood levels.
Why is it Done?
The testosterone test may be used to help evaluate conditions such as delayed or early puberty in boys, decreased sex drive or erectile dysfunction in men, testicular tumors in men, or irregular menstrual periods and/or abnormal facial hair in girls and women.
When should it be performed?

In men, it is performed when there are symptoms like-

  • infertility 
  • decreased sex drive
  • erectile dysfunction.
  • delayed puberty in boys (with symptoms like delay in development of muscles, lack of deepening of the voice, lack of body hair growth, or slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis).
  • early puberty in a young boy (to rule out various tumors).

In females, it is performed when there are following symptoms-

  • irregular or no menstrual periods
  • appears to have masculine features, (such as excessive facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, and/or a manly voice).
How is it done
A blood sample will be collected from a vein in your arm. Your doctor may want you to do a morning blood test because testosterone levels are highest between 7 am and 9 am. Fasting is not needed prior to blood collection.
Results
The reference range for total testosterone is as follows:
  • Men - 270–1070 ng/dL (9–38 nmol/L)
  • Women - 15–70 ng/dL (0.52–2.4 nmol/L)
  • Children (depends on sex and age at puberty) - 2–20 ng/dL (0.07–0.7 nmol/L)
Higher values
  • In boys younger than 10 years, a high level of testosterone may mean a tumor in the testicles, or an abnormal adrenal gland.
  • In men, a high level of testosterone may be caused by cancer of the testicles or adrenal glands.
  • In women, a high level of testosterone may be caused by cancer of the ovaries or adrenal glands or by polycystic ovary syndrome.
Lower values
  • In men or boys who have gone through puberty, a low level of testosterone may be caused by a problem with the testicles such as slow development of or a lack of testicles.
  • A low testosterone level in men can also be caused by certain inherited diseases (such as Down syndrome), or treatment for prostate cancer.
  • In women, a low level of testosterone may be caused by loss of ovary function through disease or surgery.
Other Tests

Depending on the reason for testing, other tests and hormone levels may be done along with testosterone testing. Some examples include:

  • Sex hormone binding globulin
  • FSHLH
  • Estrogens
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
  • Prolactin
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • Androstenedione
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