A Testosterone, Free & Total w/SHBG test is a blood test that measures the total testosterone, free testosterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels in your bloodstream. SHBG is a protein that binds to testosterone and can affect the amount of free testosterone that is available to your body.
There are several reasons why your doctor might order a Testosterone, Free & Total w/SHBG test:
Symptoms of low testosterone: Testosterone is an important hormone for both men and women, and low levels can cause a variety of symptoms such as decreased sex drive, fatigue, muscle weakness, and depression.
Evaluation of certain medical conditions: Testosterone levels may be affected by certain medical conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), pituitary gland disorders, and adrenal gland disorders.
Monitoring testosterone replacement therapy: If you are receiving testosterone replacement therapy, your doctor may order a Testosterone, Free & Total w/SHBG test to monitor the effectiveness of your treatment.
Evaluation of fertility: In men, free testosterone levels may be a factor in infertility or subfertility.
The combination of measuring both free and total testosterone levels, along with SHBG levels, can help your doctor determine the cause of any abnormalities in your testosterone levels. It’s important to note that testosterone levels can vary throughout the day, and multiple tests may be necessary to confirm a diagnosis of low testosterone. Your doctor will consider your specific medical history and symptoms when deciding which tests to order.