This high sensitivity test measures the small amount of circulating testosterone in women.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL RESULTS AND INFORMATION PROVIDED BY HEALTH eLABS ARE INTENDED FOR GENERAL HEALTH INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. AS SUCH THEY ARE NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR A MEDICAL EXAMINATION, AND SHOULD NOT BE USED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, PREVENT OR CURE ANY DISEASE, SYNDROME, OR CONDITION WITHOUT THE SUPERVISION OF A LICENSED PHYSICIAN.
This test can also be purchased as part of our Women’s Hormone panel.
NOTE: This test is useful for measuring testosterone in women. To measure testosterone levels in adult men, please see the Testosterone (Men) page. Additionally, this test has not been approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and should not be used to test athletes for “doping.”
PREPARATION: No fasting or other special preparation is needed for this test.
What does this test do?
This test determines the concentration of testosterone circulating in the bloodstream of women.
Why is this important?
Testosterone is a steroid hormone that plays a major role in the development of the male reproductive system and sexual characteristics. In women, small amounts of testosterone are produced by the ovaries as well as the adrenal glands.
In females, a high testosterone level can cause the development of masculine physical features (virilization) such as increased body hair (hirsutism), frontal balding, acne, increased muscle mass, an enlarged clitoris, and a deepened voice.
An elevated testosterone level can also lead to irregular or absent menstrual periods, and are a known cause of infertility. High levels of testosterone are found in approximately 70% of women diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) a condition that is commonly seen in women of childbearing age who have difficulty getting pregnant.
What do the results mean?
An abnormally high testosterone level may be associated with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), result from an ovarian or adrenal gland tumor producing excess testosterone, or be caused by a condition called congenital adrenal hyperplasia (in babies and children).
In women, testosterone levels are normally low compared to men. After menopause, women experience a further decline in testosterone which may be correlated with a reduced sex drive.
There is evidence to suggest that testosterone replacement therapy may help increase sexual function in certain peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women, and in recent years supplementation with testosterone has gained popularity. However, there are risks associated with this, such as an increased chance of developing cardiovascular or liver disease. Women who have breast or uterine cancer should not receive testosterone replacement.
In addition, the exact testosterone level below which treatment with supplemental hormone becomes helpful is unknown. For these reasons it is important to understand that the safe diagnosis and treatment of low testosterone in women requires a physician’s assessment and ongoing guidance, in addition to laboratory testing.