Testosterone, Total, MS Most Popular

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The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Testosterone, Testosterone Total LCMSMS, Testosterone, Total


A testosterone test measures the amount of the male hormone, testosterone, in the blood. Both men and women produce this hormone. In males, the testicles produce most of the testosterone in the body. Levels are most often checked to evaluate signs of low testosterone: In boys -- early or late puberty and in men -- impotence, low level of sexual interest, infertility, thinning of the bones In females, the ovaries produce most of the testosterone and levels are most often checked to evaluate signs of higher testosterone levels, such as: decreased breast size, excess hair growth, increased size of the clitoris. irregular or absent menstrual periods and male-pattern baldness or hair thinning.
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The Testosterone, Total, MS test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The Testosterone Total test is a laboratory test that measures the total amount of testosterone in the bloodstream. Testosterone is a hormone primarily produced in the testes in males and the ovaries in females, although it is present in both sexes. It plays a vital role in the development and maintenance of sexual characteristics, muscle mass, bone density, and overall well-being.

Also Known As: Total Testosterone Test, Testosterone Total Test, Female Testosterone Test, Pediatric Testosterone Test, Ultrasensitive Testosterone Test, Uncapped Testosterone Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Testosterone Total test ordered?

A Testosterone Total test may be ordered in the following situations:

  1. Evaluation of Symptoms: The test may be ordered when individuals, regardless of gender, present with symptoms associated with testosterone deficiency or excess. Common symptoms in males include low libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, depression, and decreased muscle mass. In females, symptoms may include irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and signs of virilization (excessive facial or body hair).

  2. Assessment of Hormonal Imbalances: The test can help diagnose and monitor conditions related to hormone imbalances, such as hypogonadism (low testosterone production), hypergonadism (excess testosterone production), or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in females.

  3. Monitoring Hormone Replacement Therapy: For individuals receiving testosterone replacement therapy or hormonal interventions, periodic testing of testosterone levels helps ensure appropriate dosing and monitor treatment effectiveness.

What does a Testosterone Total blood test check for?

In men, testosterone is the primary sex hormone. It's in charge of a man's physical appearance. Although it is thought to be a "masculine" sex hormone, it is found in both men and women's blood. This test determines the amount of testosterone in a person's blood.

Testosterone is primarily produced in the male testicles by unique endocrine tissue called Leydig cells. It's also made by the adrenal glands in both males and females, as well as the ovaries in females in modest amounts.

In males, testosterone promotes the formation of secondary sex characteristics such as penis size, body hair growth, muscle development, and a deeper voice. It is abundant in males during adolescence and adulthood in order to regulate sex drive and preserve muscle mass. Estradiol is the major sex hormone in females, and testosterone is converted to it in women.

The pituitary gland produces luteinizing hormone, which stimulates and regulates testosterone synthesis. Testosterone functions in a negative feedback loop: when testosterone levels rise, LH production falls, slowing testosterone production; lower testosterone levels cause higher LH production, which promotes testosterone production.

Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day, increasing in the early morning hours and dropping in the evening. Levels rise after activity and fall as people get older.

About two-thirds of testosterone is attached to sex-hormone binding globulin in the bloodstream, with the remaining one-third bound to albumin. Only a small percentage of testosterone is released into the bloodstream as free testosterone. The bioavailable fraction is the free plus albumin-bound testosterone, which can act on target tissues.

In many circumstances, measuring total testosterone is sufficient information for a healthcare provider. A test for free or bioavailable testosterone may be performed in some circumstances, such as when the level of SHBG is abnormal, as it may more accurately indicate the presence of a medical issue.

Lab tests often ordered with a Testosterone Total test:

Several other tests are commonly ordered alongside a Testosterone Total test to provide a comprehensive understanding of an individual's hormonal health:

  1. Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH):

    • Purpose: These hormones, produced by the pituitary gland, regulate the function of the gonads (ovaries in women and testes in men).
    • Why Is It Ordered: To differentiate between primary (testicular or ovarian) and secondary (pituitary) causes of testosterone imbalances. LH and FSH levels can indicate whether the issue is with the gonads themselves or with the hormones regulating them.
  2. Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG):

    • Purpose: SHBG binds to testosterone, affecting its bioavailability.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To evaluate the levels of free and bioavailable testosterone, as SHBG-bound testosterone is not biologically active.
  3. Estradiol:

    • Purpose: Estradiol, a form of estrogen, is important for sexual and reproductive health in both men and women.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the balance between testosterone and estrogen, especially in men, as increased conversion of testosterone to estradiol can occur in certain conditions.
  4. Prolactin:

    • Purpose: Prolactin is a hormone that can affect the body’s hormonal balance.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Elevated prolactin levels can interfere with testosterone production and cause symptoms of low testosterone.
  5. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: To provide a general overview of health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To detect conditions like anemia, which can sometimes be related to hormonal imbalances.
  6. Liver Function Test:

    • Purpose: To assess liver health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: The liver is involved in hormone metabolism, and liver diseases can impact testosterone levels.
  7. Kidney Function Test:

    • Purpose: To evaluate kidney function.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Kidney disease can affect overall health, including hormonal balances.
  8. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT):

    • Purpose: DHT is a potent androgen derived from testosterone.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the conversion of testosterone to DHT, particularly in cases of prostate enlargement or male pattern baldness.

These tests, when ordered alongside a Testosterone Total test, provide a comprehensive evaluation of an individual’s hormonal status and can assist in diagnosing various conditions related to hormonal imbalances and reproductive health. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s symptoms, sex, and medical history.

Conditions where a Testosterone Total test is recommended:

A Testosterone Total test may be helpful in the evaluation and management of the following conditions or diseases:

  1. Hypogonadism: Hypogonadism refers to reduced testosterone production, which can result in symptoms such as low libido, fatigue, and decreased muscle mass.

  2. Hypergonadism: Hypergonadism refers to excessive testosterone production, which can cause symptoms like acne, increased muscle mass, and mood changes.

  3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a common hormonal disorder in females characterized by irregular menstrual cycles, excess androgens (including testosterone), and ovarian cysts.

How does my healthcare provider use a Testosterone Total test?

Healthcare providers use the results of the Testosterone Total test to:

  1. Confirm Hormonal Imbalances: Abnormal testosterone levels can help confirm the presence of testosterone deficiency or excess, guiding further diagnostic evaluation and treatment decisions.

  2. Guide Treatment: Depending on the results, healthcare providers may recommend lifestyle modifications, hormone replacement therapy, or other interventions to address testosterone imbalances and alleviate associated symptoms.

  3. Monitor Progress: Serial testing of testosterone levels allows healthcare providers to monitor the effectiveness of treatment and adjust therapy as needed to achieve optimal hormonal balance.

It is essential to interpret the Testosterone Total test results in conjunction with clinical symptoms, medical history, and other laboratory findings to make an accurate diagnosis and develop an individualized treatment plan.

What does my testosterone test result mean?


Testosterone levels often begin to fall after the age of 30. Testosterone levels may drop more in obese or chronically unwell men, as well as with the use of certain drugs.

Hypogonadism can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Pituitary or hypothalamic illness
  • Reduced testosterone production in young males can be caused by genetic disorders
  • Possible infertility or testicular failure
  • Acquired damage to the testes, such as from drinking, physical injury, or viral infections like mumps, reduces testosterone production.
  • Diabetes

Healthcare practitioners may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to men who have consistently low testosterone levels and associated signs and symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration has not approved testosterone supplements to improve strength, sports performance, or avoid aging disorders. It's possible that using it for these purposes is dangerous.

Increased testosterone levels in men can mean one of several things:

  • Tumors of the testicles
  • Testosterone-producing tumors in the adrenal glands
  • Use of anabolic steroids
  • Early puberty in males due to an unknown cause
  • Adrenal hyperplasia in toddlers and babies


Testosterone levels in women are typically low. Increased testosterone levels can mean one of the following things:

  • Ovarian or adrenal gland tumor
  • PCOS
  • Adrenal hyperplasia that occurs at birth.

Most Common Questions About the Testosterone Total test:

Understanding the Testosterone Total Test and Its Purpose

What is the Testosterone Total test?

The Testosterone Total test is a blood test that measures the total amount of testosterone, which includes both free and bound testosterone, in your body.

Why would a doctor order a Testosterone Total test?

A doctor might order a Testosterone Total test if a person is showing symptoms of a testosterone imbalance. For men, this could be symptoms of low testosterone such as fatigue, depression, and decreased sex drive. For women, it could be symptoms of high testosterone such as irregular menstrual cycles, increased body hair, and acne.

Who might need a Testosterone Total test?

Anyone displaying symptoms of a testosterone imbalance might need a Testosterone Total test. Additionally, it might be performed for men who may have testicular tumors, boys with delayed or early puberty, and women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Interpreting Test Results and Abnormal Findings

What do the results of a Testosterone Total test mean?

The results of a Testosterone Total test are given in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). The normal range varies by age and sex. For adult males, it's usually between 270 to 1070 ng/dL, and for adult females, it's typically between 15 to 70 ng/dL.

What does a high Testosterone Total test result indicate?

In males, a high Testosterone Total test result can be due to testicular tumors or adrenal tumors. In females, it can indicate conditions like PCOS, ovarian tumors, or adrenal tumors.

What does a low Testosterone Total test result mean?

A low Testosterone Total test result in males can indicate hypogonadism, which may result from conditions affecting the testicles or the pituitary gland. In females, it may be due to ovarian failure.

Relationship with Other Tests and Conditions

How does the Testosterone Total test relate to the Free Testosterone test?

The Testosterone Total test measures both free and bound testosterone, while the Free Testosterone test measures only the testosterone that isn't bound to proteins. Both tests can give a more complete picture of testosterone status.

Can the Testosterone Total test diagnose conditions like PCOS or hypogonadism?

The Testosterone Total test can aid in the diagnosis of conditions like PCOS or hypogonadism, but diagnosis typically involves a combination of tests and symptom evaluation.

Understanding the Implications and Health Impact

What are the roles of testosterone in the body?

Testosterone is a sex hormone important for developing male physical characteristics. It's also important for maintaining muscle bulk, adequate levels of red blood cells, bone growth, a sense of well-being, and sexual function.

What health conditions can be associated with abnormal Testosterone Total levels?

Abnormal Testosterone Total levels can be associated with a number of health conditions, including hypogonadism, PCOS, adrenal or pituitary disorders, and tumors in the testicles or ovaries.

Risk Factors, Prevention, and Treatment

What factors might influence my Testosterone Total levels?

Several factors can influence Testosterone Total levels, including age, time of day, stress levels, certain medications, obesity, and underlying health conditions like liver disease or HIV/AIDS.

How can I maintain or improve my Testosterone Total levels?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and stress management, can help to maintain healthy testosterone levels.

What treatment options exist for abnormal Testosterone Total levels?

Treatment options for abnormal Testosterone Total levels depend on the underlying cause. They may include lifestyle changes, hormone replacement therapy, medication adjustments, or surgery in the case of tumors.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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