Fertility Test for Men

Male Fertility Testing and health information

Do you know what could be causing your infertility?

The Ulta Lab Tests fertility test for males analyzes sperm health and sperm antibodies.

There are many different reasons why men may not have optimal sperm production. Health problems could stop sperm cells from growing or prevent men from producing a high enough sperm concentration. Here are a few of the more common causes of male infertility that you should be aware of: Retrograde ejaculation, Lowered sperm count, Obstructions in the reproductive tract, Sperm disorders, Medicines, Hormones, and Varicoceles. Blockage in the van's deferens can also cause male infertility. 

Male Infertility and Lab Testing - What You Need to Know

If you're a man and have been trying to get your partner pregnant for over a year, it might be time to take the fertility test. Fertility lab testing from Ulta Lab Tests evaluates the health of sperm and the presence of sperm antibodies. It will give you an accurate diagnosis so that you can seek treatment with your doctor for any underlying issues that may be preventing pregnancy. 

Know your health with Ulta Lab Tests and get discounted prices, 24/7 ordering, and nationwide locations. Our lab tests are confidential, and results are available in as little as 24 to 48 hours for most tests. With 2,000 lab tests to choose from and friendly customer service, we make it easy for you to take charge of your health.

Order your fertility test and blood tests now so you can take charge of your health and stay healthy. Choose from the tests below and start today.

 


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Description: Estradiol is a blood test that is used to measure the levels of Estradiol in the blood's serum. Estradiol is one of the Estrogen hormones in the body.  Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS #30289 is a more appropriate test for children that have not yet started a menstrual cycle.

Also Known As: E2 Test, Estrogen 2 Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an Estradiol test ordered?

Tests for estradiol for women may be ordered if:

  • After menopause, a woman may experience symptoms such as abnormal vaginal bleeding or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman is unable to conceive, a series of estradiol readings taken over the course of her menstrual cycle may be used to track follicle development before using in vitro fertilization procedures
  • A woman is experiencing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, and/or irregular or absent menstrual cycles.
  • If a menopausal woman is on hormone replacement therapy, her doctor may order estrone levels on a regular basis to check her progress.

Men and young boys may be subjected to estradiol testing if:

  • A boy's puberty is delayed, as evidenced by slow or delayed growth of testicles and penis, as well as a lack of deepening of voice or growth of body hair.
  • Signs of feminization, such as larger breasts.

What does an Estradiol blood test check for?

Estradiol, or E2, is a component of Estrogen that is present in the blood. For women, Estradiol is something that should be produced naturally, and the body produces larger amounts of Estradiol during puberty and it fluctuates throughout the menstrual cycle. Estradiol is most prominent in women of reproductive age. Low levels are common in girls who have not yet had their first menstrual cycle and in women after their reproductive age.

Lab tests often ordered with an Estradiol test:

  • Estrogen, Total, Serum
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Testosterone Free and Total
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Progesterone

Conditions where an Estradiol test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
  • Hormone Imbalance
  • Premature, delayed, or abnormal development of sex organs

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use an Estradiol test?

Estrogen tests are used to detect a deficit or excess of estrogen in a woman, as well as to aid in the diagnosis of a range of illnesses linked to this imbalance. They may also be ordered to monitor the health of the growing fetus and placenta during pregnancy, as well as to help predict the timing of a woman's ovulation. Estrogen testing can be used to detect a hormone excess and its origin in men.

In the case of girls and women

Estradiol testing may be requested for the following reasons:

  • Diagnose early-onset puberty, which occurs when a girl develops secondary sex traits much earlier than anticipated, or late puberty, which occurs when a female develops secondary sex characteristics or begins menstruation later than predicted.
  • Examine menstrual irregularities such as the absence of menstrual periods, infertility, and unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Evaluate ovary function and look for signs of ovarian failure.
  • Serial measurements of estradiol can be used to track follicle development in the ovary in the days leading up to in vitro fertilization.
  • Keep track of any hormone replacement therapy you're getting to help with your fertility.
  • Keep track of menopausal hormone replacement medication, which is used to treat symptoms caused by estrogen insufficiency.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.
  • As with breast cancer, keep an eye on anti-estrogen therapy.

Boys and men may be subjected to estradiol testing in order to:

  • Assist in the diagnosis of delayed puberty
  • Assist in determining the cause of larger breasts or other feminization indications.
  • Detect an excess of relative estrogen due to a testosterone or androgen deficit.
  • Identify cancers that produce estrogen.

What do my Estradiol test results mean?

Estradiol is one of the three Estrogens that have a large impact on the women's body throughout the menstrual cycle. When these hormones are too high or too low, it could cause irregular bleeding, infertility, complications with menopause, and delayed or premature puberty. Out of range levels can also be indicative of an ovarian condition such as PCOS. It is important to note that these values will fluctuate throughout a woman's cycle. The Estrogen hormones work together and if one is out of range, the others may also be out of range. It is recommended to follow up with a licensed healthcare professional to determine the best treatment if need.

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

IMPORTANT - Note this Estradiol test is not for children that have yet to start their menstrual cycle.  If this test is ordered for a child that has yet to begin their menstrual cycle Quest Diagnostics labs will substitute in Estradiol, Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS - #30289 at an additional charge of $34


Description: A Follicle Stimulating Hormone, or FSH, test is a blood test that measures the levels of FSH in the blood. This can be used to diagnose conditions related to the sex organs, early or late puberty, or a condition affecting the pituitary or hypothalamus. It is also used to predict ovulation, evaluate infertility and monitor during infertility treatment. Levels that are out of range can help, along with several other hormone test, to evaluate the cause of irregular menstrual cycles.

Also Known As: Follicle Stimulating Hormone Test, Follitropin Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a FSH test ordered?

An FSH test may be recommended for a woman if she is having trouble conceiving or has irregular or absent menstrual periods.

When a woman's menstrual cycle has ended or grown erratic, FSH may be ordered to see if she has entered menopause.

When a man's spouse is unable to conceive, when he has a low sperm count, or when he has low muscle mass or diminished sex drive, for example, the test may be ordered.

When a health care provider detects a pituitary issue in a woman or a man, testing may be ordered. Because a pituitary problem can disrupt the production of a variety of hormones, other signs and symptoms may appear in addition to those described above. Fatigue, weakness, unexpected weight loss, and decreased appetite are just a few examples.

When a boy or girl does not seem to be entering puberty at the proper age, FSH and LH may be prescribed. Puberty symptoms include:

  • Breast enlargement in young women
  • Pubic hair development
  • In boys, the testicles and penis grow.
  • In girls, menstruation begins.

What does a FSH blood test check for?

FSH is a hormone linked to production and the development of eggs and sperm in both men and women. FSH is measured in the blood.

The pituitary gland, a grape-sized structure near the base of the brain, produces FSH. The hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary gland, and hormones generated by the ovaries or testicles all work together to control FSH production. The hypothalamus secretes gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which causes the pituitary to secrete FSH and luteinizing hormone, a hormone that is closely related to FSH and is also important in reproduction.

During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, FSH increases the growth and maturation of eggs in the ovaries in women. The menstrual cycle is divided into two phases: follicular and luteal, each lasting approximately 14 days. During this follicular phase, FSH triggers the follicle's synthesis of estradiol, and the two hormones collaborate to help the egg follicle develop further. A surge of FSH and luteinizing hormone occurs near the end of the follicular period. Shortly after this burst of hormones, the egg is released from the ovary. The hormones inhibin, estradiol, and progesterone all help the pituitary gland regulate the quantity of FSH released. FSH also improves the ovary's ability to respond to LH.

Ovarian function declines and eventually quits as a woman matures and approaches menopause. FSH and LH levels rise as a result of this.

FSH induces the development of mature sperm in men's testicles, as well as the production of androgen binding proteins. After adolescence, men's FSH levels remain rather steady.

FSH levels rise early after birth in infants and children, then fall to very low levels by 6 months in boys and 1-2 years in girls. Prior to the onset of puberty and the development of secondary sexual characteristics, concentrations begin to rise again.

The production of too much or too little FSH can be caused by disorders affecting the brain, pituitary, ovaries, or testicles, resulting in infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, or early or delayed sexual development.

Lab tests often ordered with a FSH test:

  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • LH
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Sperm Analysis
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where a FSH test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Pituitary Disorders
  • Endocrine Syndromes
  • PCOS

How does my health care provider use a FSH test?

There are various applications for the follicle-stimulating hormone test, which is a hormone linked to reproduction and the development of eggs in women and sperm in men.

The test can be used with additional hormone assays including luteinizing hormone, testosterone, estradiol, and/or progesterone in both women and men to help:

  • Find out what's causing infertility.
  • Diagnose conditions involving ovarian or testicular dysfunction.
  • Aid in the diagnosis of diseases of the pituitary or hypothalamus, which can impact FSH production.

FSH levels are also relevant in women for:

  • Menstrual irregularities are being investigated.
  • Menopause start or confirmation prediction

FSH levels in males are used to determine the cause of a low sperm count.

FSH and LH are used to diagnose delayed or precocious puberty in children. Puberty timing irregularities could indicate a more significant disease involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovaries, testicles, or other systems. LH and FSH levels can help distinguish between benign symptoms and real disease. Once it's been determined that the symptoms are due to an actual condition, more testing can be done to figure out what's causing them.

What do my FSH test results mean?

FSH test findings are frequently combined with those from other hormone testing, such as LH, estrogens, and/or testosterone.

A high or low FSH level as part of an infertility workup is not diagnostic, but it does provide some insight into the cause. A hormone imbalance, for example, can influence a woman's menstrual cycle and/or ovulation. To make a diagnosis, a doctor will take into account all of the information gathered during the examination.

Women's Health

FSH and LH levels can assist distinguish between primary ovarian failure and secondary ovarian failure.

Primary ovarian failure is associated with high levels of FSH and LH.

Low FSH and LH levels are indicative of secondary ovarian failure caused by a pituitary or hypothalamic issue. Low FSH levels in the blood have been linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Men's Health

Primary testicular failure causes high FSH levels. As shown below, this can be the result of developmental problems in testicular growth or testicular damage.

Low levels are indicative of pituitary or hypothalamic dysfunction.

Children's Health

Precocious puberty is defined by high levels of FSH and LH, as well as the development of secondary sexual traits at an extremely young age. This occurs far more frequently in girls than in boys. This abnormal development is usually caused by a problem with the central nervous system, which can have a variety of causes.

Normal prepubescent LH and FSH levels in children who are showing signs of pubertal alterations could suggest a syndrome known as "precocious pseudopuberty." Elevated levels of the hormones estrogen or testosterone cause the signs and symptoms.

LH and FSH levels can be normal or below what is expected for a child of this age range in delayed puberty.

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


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Description: A Luteinizing Hormone, or LH, Test is a test that measures the level of the LH in the blood. It is used to predict ovulation, evaluate infertility and monitor during infertility treatment, or identify a pituitary disorder. It can also help along with several other hormone test to evaluate the cause of irregular menstrual cycles.

Also Known As: Luteinizing Hormone Test, Lutropin Test, Interstitial Cell Stimulating Hormone Test, ICSH Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is an LH test ordered?

LH testing may be ordered in adults when:

  • A woman is having trouble conceiving or has irregular or non-existent menstrual cycles.
  • When a woman's menstrual cycle has stopped or grown irregular, or it is suspected that she has entered menopause.
  • When a man's partner is unable to conceive, when he has low testosterone levels, or when he has poor muscular mass or decreased sex drive.
  • Unexplained weight loss, exhaustion and weakness, and decreased appetite are just a few examples of signs and symptoms that may be present when a health professional suspects a pituitary issue.

When a boy or girl does not appear to be entering puberty at the appropriate age, LH may be ordered. Puberty symptoms include:

  • Breast enlargement in young women
  • Pubic hair development
  • Boys' testicles and penis grow.
  • In girls, menstruation begins.

What does an LH blood test check for?

Luteinizing hormone is a hormone linked to reproduction and the stimulation of ovarian egg release in women, as well as testosterone production in males. This test determines how much luteinizing hormone is present in the blood.

The pituitary gland, a grape-sized structure near the base of the brain, produces LH. The hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary gland, and the hormones generated by the ovaries and testicles all work together to control LH production.

Several hormones rise and fall in a certain order in premenopausal women's bodies during each menstrual cycle. LH increases ovulation and the generation of other hormones such as estradiol and progesterone during the menstrual cycle.

Each phase of a woman's menstrual cycle lasts roughly 14 days and is separated into follicular and luteal stages. A mid-cycle surge of follicle-stimulating hormone and LH occurs near the end of the follicular phase. Ovulation is triggered by this surge, which results in the rupture of the egg follicle on the ovary and the release of the egg.

The place where the egg follicle ruptured becomes a "corpus luteum" during the luteal phase. The corpus luteum is stimulated to begin generating progesterone by LH release. While FSH and LH levels decrease, progesterone and estradiol levels rise. If the egg is not fertilized, these hormone levels will drop after a few days. Menstruation begins, and then the cycle repeats itself.

Ovarian function declines and eventually quits as a woman matures and approaches menopause. FSH and LH levels rise as a result of this.

LH stimulates the testicles' Leydig cells to create testosterone in men. After adolescence, men's LH levels remain generally steady. A high level of testosterone sends negative feedback to the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, reducing the amount of LH released.

LH levels in newborns and youngsters peak shortly after delivery and then drop to extremely low levels. Levels begin to rise again at the age of 6-8 years, just before puberty and the development of secondary sexual traits.

Lab tests often ordered with an LH test:

  • FSH
  • Testosterone
  • Progesterone
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • Androstenedione
  • Sperm Analysis
  • Prolactin
  • Anti-Mullerian Hormone
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where an LH test is recommended:

  • Infertility
  • Menopause
  • Pituitary Disorders
  • Endocrine Disorders
  • PCOS

How does my health care provider use an LH test?

There are various applications for the luteinizing hormone test, which is a hormone linked to production and the stimulation of the release of an egg from the ovary in women and testosterone synthesis in males.

LH is frequently used in conjunction with other tests in both women and men:

  • In the investigation of infertility,
  • To help with the diagnosis of pituitary diseases that impact LH production.
  • To aid in the diagnosis of diseases involving the ovaries or testicles

FSH and LH are used to diagnose delayed and precocious puberty in children. Puberty timing irregularities could indicate a more significant disease involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovaries, testicles, or other systems. LH and FSH levels can help distinguish between benign symptoms and real disease. Once it's been determined that the symptoms are due to an actual condition, more testing can be done to figure out what's causing them.

LH is occasionally evaluated in response to gonadotropin releasing hormone treatment in those with evidence of impaired ovarian or testicular function to distinguish between problems involving the brain or pituitary gland. The hypothalamus produces GnRH, which stimulates the pituitary gland to release LH and FSH. A baseline blood sample is taken for this test, and then the subject is given a GnRH injection. Following that, blood samples are collected at predetermined intervals and the level of LH is monitored. This test can assist distinguish between a pituitary disorder, in which LH does not respond to GnRH, and a hypothalamic disorder, in which LH does respond to GnRH. It's also useful for determining if a child is precocious or delayed in puberty.

What do my LH test results mean?

Women's Health

Primary ovarian failure and secondary ovarian failure can be distinguished using LH and FSH levels.

Primary ovarian failure is characterized by elevated levels of LH and FSH.

Multiple LH tests can be done to detect the surge that precedes ovulation in women who are attempting to conceive. Ovulation has happened when LH levels rise.

Because a woman's ovaries stop working during menopause, her LH levels rise.

Secondary ovarian failure is characterized by low levels of LH and FSH, which indicate a problem with the pituitary or hypothalamus.

Men's Health

LH levels that are too high could suggest primary testicular failure. This can be caused by testicular injury or developmental problems in testicular growth.

Low levels of LH and FSH are detected in secondary testicular failure and reflect a pituitary or hypothalamic issue.

For both men and women

The LH response to GnRH can assist distinguish between secondary and tertiary dysfunction. After determining the baseline level of LH, a dosage of GnRH is administered through injection. The fact that the pituitary responded to the GnRH and that the level of LH increased afterward suggests a hypothalamic problem. A low amount of LH indicates that the pituitary did not respond to GnRH and points to a pituitary illness.

Children's

Precocious puberty is defined as high levels of LH and FSH together with the development of secondary sexual characteristics at an unusually young age in young children. This occurs far more frequently in girls than in boys. This abnormal development is usually caused by a problem with the central nervous system, which can have a variety of causes.

Normal FSH and LH levels with a few indications of puberty could indicate a benign form of precocious puberty with no underlying or discernible reason, or it could simply be a normal variation of puberty. LH and FSH levels can be normal or below what is expected for a child of this age range in delayed puberty. In addition to other tests, the LH response to GnRH test may aid in determining the cause of delayed puberty. Delay in puberty can be caused by a variety of factors.

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


For the evaluation of post-vasectomy cases.

This is a qualitative test, not quantitative.

Results are given as Present or Not Seen. No actual numbers are provided.


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Description: A prolactin test is a blood test that measures the Prolactin levels in your blood's serum, and it is useful in identifying unexplained problems with breastfeeding, menstrual cycles, and infertility.

Also Known As: PRL Test, Prolactin Blood test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Prolactin test ordered?

Prolactin testing may be requested in the following situations:

  • If someone is experiencing prolactinoma symptoms such as inexplicable headaches, breast nipple discharge, and or vision impairment.
  • Infertility or irregular menstrual periods in a woman.
  • A male that has low testosterone or has signs such as diminished sex drive, nipple discharge, or infertility.

When a person has a prolactinoma, prolactin levels may be requested on a regular basis to track the tumor's progress and response to treatment. They may also be ordered at regular intervals to check for the return of prolactinoma.

When a doctor suspects a person has a pituitary condition such hypopituitarism, prolactin levels, as well as other hormone levels like growth hormone, may be requested.

Prolactin concentrations are sometimes measured when a person has an illness or is receiving medication that may impair dopamine production.

What does a Prolactin blood test check for?

The anterior region of the pituitary gland, a grape-sized structure located at the base of the brain, produces prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone that promotes lactation and is found in low concentrations in men and non-pregnant women. This test determines how much prolactin is present in the blood.

Dopamine, a brain neurotransmitter, regulates and inhibits prolactin release. Prolactin levels are typically high throughout pregnancy and shortly after childbirth. The hormones prolactin, estrogen, and progesterone enhance the production of breast milk during pregnancy. Prolactin aids in the initiation and maintenance of breast milk supply after childbirth. If a woman does not breastfeed, her prolactin level quickly returns to pre-pregnancy levels if she does not nurse. Suckling by the infant has a vital function in the release of prolactin if she does nurse. The amount of prolactin emitted by the pituitary, as well as the amount of milk produced, have a feedback system.

A prolactinoma, a pituitary gland tumor that generates excessive prolactin production, is a common cause of an unusually raised prolactin level. The most frequent type of pituitary tumor is prolactinoma, which is usually benign. They are more common in women, but they can also be found in men. The size and location of the tumor, as well as the unintended effects of excess prolactin, such as milk production in a woman who is not pregnant or nursing and, occasionally, in a man, can cause problems.

When the anterior pituitary gland and/or tumor grow large enough, they can put pressure on the optic nerve, causing headaches and visual abnormalities, as well as interfering with the pituitary gland's other hormones. Prolactinomas in women can induce infertility and menstrual abnormalities, while in men, they might cause a gradual loss of sexual function and libido. Prolactinomas can cause damage to the surrounding tissues if they are not treated.

Lab tests often ordered with a Prolactin test:

  • FSH
  • LH
  • Testosterone
  • DHEA-S
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • Estrone
  • Estriol
  • Progesterone
  • Androstenedione

Conditions where a Prolactin test is recommended:

  • Pituitary Disorders
  • Infertility
  • Pregnancy
  • PCOS
  • Thyroid Diseases

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Prolactin test?

Prolactin levels can be used for a variety of purposes. Prolactin is a hormone generated by the pituitary gland, and its major function is to assist pregnant and nursing women in initiating and maintaining breast milk production.

Prolactin testing, in combination with other hormone tests, may be used to:

  • Determine what is causing the production of breast milk that isn't related to pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Find out what's causing men's infertility and erectile problems.
  • Determine the reason of a woman's menstrual irregularity and/or infertility.
  • Detect and diagnose prolactinomas, track their therapy, and look for recurrences.
  • Examine anterior pituitary function or any other pituitary problems.

What do my prolactin test results mean?

Prolactin levels in the blood of men and nonpregnant women are usually very low. Prolactin levels must be analyzed according to the time of day they are taken. Over the course of a 24-hour period, the levels will rise during sleep and peak in the morning. A person's blood should be drawn 3 to 4 hours after they wake up.

During pregnancy and while the mother is nursing, a high amount of prolactin is typical.

High prolactin levels can also be noticed in the following:

  • Prolactin-producing and -releasing tumors
  • Eating disorders such as  anorexia nervosa
  • Hypothalamic diseases
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Other tumors and disorders of the pituitary gland

Low levels of prolactin are not normally treated, but they could indicate a general decline in pituitary hormones caused by a pituitary condition such hypopituitarism.

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


Description: Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test is a blood test that is often paired in testosterone testing for men suspected to have low testosterone and women with elevated testosterone.

Also Known As: SHBG Test, TeBG Test, Testosterone-Estrogen Binding Globulin Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test ordered?

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin may be ordered by a healthcare provider to investigate infertility, diminished sex drive, and erectile dysfunction in males, or irregular cycles, infertility, and excess body and face hair in women, when total testosterone values do not appear to be consistent with the mentioned signs and symptoms.

What does a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin blood test check for?

SHBG is a liver-produced protein that strongly binds to the hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol. SHBG distributes these hormones in the blood as physiologically inactive versions when they are bound. This test examines the amount of SHBG in the blood and is most commonly used to determine whether a person has too much or too little testosterone.

In men, SHBG binds roughly 45 percent to 65 percent of testosterone in the blood, with the rest weakly and reversibly linked to albumin. Only around 2% to 3% of testosterone is accessible to tissues as free testosterone, but testosterone that is weakly linked to albumin is also bioavailable and can be rapidly absorbed by the body's tissues.

In women, a somewhat higher percentage of testosterone is bound to SHBG in the blood than in men. SHBG is important in controlling the quantities of bioavailable male sex hormones and estrogens circulating throughout the body in women. Because SHBG has a stronger affinity for the androgens testosterone and DHT, women with low SHBG may experience signs and symptoms of androgen excess.

A total testosterone test does not differentiate between bound and unbound testosterone; instead, it determines the total amount of testosterone present. In many circumstances, this is sufficient to determine if testosterone production is excessive or inadequate. However, if a person's SHBG level is abnormal, the total testosterone level may not accurately reflect the amount of testosterone available to the person's tissues. When a person's indications and symptoms do not match the results of a total testosterone test, a SHBG test may be conducted.

Lab tests often ordered with a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test:

  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Albumin
  • Prolactin

Conditions where a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test is recommended:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism

How does my health care provider use a Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test?

The sex hormone binding globulin test can be performed to determine whether a man has low testosterone or if a woman has too much testosterone. It can be used in conjunction with other tests to assess a person's sex hormone status.

SHBG is a protein that binds to testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol, among other hormones. SHBG distributes these hormones in the blood as physiologically inactive versions when they are bound. Changes in SHBG levels can have an impact on the amount of hormone accessible to the body's tissues.

To assess a person's current hormonal balance, tests for albumin and one or more additional sex hormones, such as prolactin, estradiol, and LH may be conducted.

In men

In order to diagnose the cause of infertility, diminished sex drive, or erectile dysfunction in an adult male, SHBG and total testosterone levels may be ordered. When total testosterone findings are contradictory with clinical symptoms, measuring SHBG in addition to testosterone is extremely beneficial.

Total testosterone in the blood is measured without distinguishing between bound and unbound testosterone; rather, it determines the total amount of testosterone in the blood. In many circumstances, this is sufficient to determine if testosterone production is excessive or inadequate. However, if a person's SHBG level is abnormal, the total testosterone level may not accurately reflect the amount of testosterone available to the body's tissues.

With a simple total testosterone assessment, health practitioners can estimate bioavailable testosterone by measuring SHBG. Because less testosterone is accessible to the body's tissues, increased SHBG in males may be linked to symptoms of low testosterone levels.

Total testosterone should be measured in the initial screening for testosterone deficiency, according to the Endocrine Society's professional standards. If the results are abnormal, the test is repeated the next day. They propose one of the following if repeat readings are low-normal and/or SHBG is abnormal:

In women

The ovaries and adrenal glands produce modest amounts of testosterone in women. Even little increases in testosterone production can throw off the hormone balance, resulting in symptoms including irregular or missed periods, infertility, acne, and excessive face and body hair. These and other signs and symptoms are common in polycystic ovarian syndrome, a disorder marked by an overproduction of male sex hormones. SHBG and testosterone testing may be helpful in detecting and evaluating excess testosterone production and/or decreasing SHBG concentrations, as well as in evaluating women with PCOS.

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


Brief Description: Testosterone, Free (Dialysis) and Total, MS is a blood test used to detect abnormal levels of testosterone in both male and female patients, and diagnose causes of erectile dysfunction, infertility, virilization, polycystic ovary syndrome, and delayed or early puberty in children.

Also Known As: Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, Testosterone Free and Total

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Free and Total Testosterone test ordered?

When infertility is suspected, or when a man has decreased sex drive or erectile difficulties, a testosterone test may be ordered. Other signs include a lack of beard and body hair, a loss of muscle mass, and the formation of breast tissue. Low total and bioavailable testosterone levels have also been linked to, or caused by, increased visceral fat, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

The test is frequently ordered in conjunction with the FSH and LH tests in males who are experiencing delayed or slow puberty. Although the age at which puberty begins varies from person to person, it usually begins around the age of ten. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of delayed puberty:

  • Muscle mass development is delayed.
  • Voice not getting lower or a lack of body hair growth
  • Growth of the testicles and penis is slowed or delayed.

When a young boy appears to be going through an early puberty with clear secondary sex traits, the test can be ordered. Various malignancies and congenital adrenal hyperplasia can cause early puberty in boys due to elevated testosterone.

When a woman has irregular or no menstrual cycles, is having trouble getting pregnant, or displays masculine traits such as abundant facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, and/or a low voice, testosterone testing may be done. Testosterone levels can rise as a result of malignancies in the ovary or adrenal gland, as well as other illnesses including polycystic ovarian syndrome.

What does a Testosterone Total and Free 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.

Lab tests often ordered with a Testosterone Free and Total test:

  • Estradiol
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogens
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Albumin
  • Prolactin
  • Anti-mullerian Hormone
  • Androstenedione
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where a Testosterone Free and Total test is recommended:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Alcoholism
  • Mumps
  • Hypothalamic disease
  • Pituitary disease
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Testicular cancer
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Testosterone Free and Total test?

In men, women, girls, and boys, testosterone testing is used to identify a variety of problems. Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males, and it is responsible for masculine physical traits. It is produced mostly by the testicles. Although it is thought to be a "male" sex hormone, it is found in both males and females.

The testosterone test can be used to determine whether or not you're experiencing:

  • Delayed or early puberty in boys
  • In both men and women, sex drive has decreased.
  • Men's erectile dysfunction
  • Male and female infertility
  • Tumors of the testicles in men
  • Disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
  • Virilization and hirsutism in girls and women

A testosterone total test is usually used to diagnose a condition. The free and total testosterone test distinguishes between testosterone that is bound to proteins in the blood and testosterone that is not attached to proteins.

About two-thirds of testosterone is tied to SHBG in the blood, with the remaining one-third attached to albumin. Free testosterone circulates in a tiny percentage. Bioavailable testosterone is made up of free testosterone and testosterone bound to albumin, and it can operate on target tissues.

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.

Other tests and hormone levels may be performed in conjunction with testosterone testing, depending on the reason for testing. Here are a few examples:

  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • SHBG
  • DHEA-S
  • Prolactin
  • Androstenedione
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone

What does my testosterone test result mean?

Males: 

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

Females:

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.

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


Helpful in assessing testicular function in males and managing hirsutism, virilization in females.

Description: Testosterone Free and Total with Sex Hormone Binding Globulin is a blood test used to detect abnormal levels of testosterone in both male and female patients, and diagnose causes of erectile dysfunction, infertility, virilization, polycystic ovary syndrome, and delayed or early puberty in children.

Also Known As: Total Testosterone Test, Free Testosterone Test, Testosterone Free and Total Test, Sex Hormone Binding Globulin Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When is a Testosterone Free and Total with Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test ordered?

When infertility is suspected, or when a man has decreased sex drive or erectile difficulties, a testosterone test may be ordered. Other signs include a lack of beard and body hair, a loss of muscle mass, and the formation of breast tissue. Low total and bioavailable testosterone levels have also been linked to, or caused by, increased visceral fat, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

The test is frequently ordered in conjunction with the FSH and LH tests in males who are experiencing delayed or slow puberty. Although the age at which puberty begins varies from person to person, it usually begins around the age of ten. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of delayed puberty:

  • Muscle mass development is delayed.
  • Voice not getting lower or a lack of body hair growth
  • Growth of the testicles and penis is slowed or delayed.

When a young boy appears to be going through an early puberty with clear secondary sex traits, the test can be ordered. Various malignancies and congenital adrenal hyperplasia can cause early puberty in boys due to elevated testosterone.

When a woman has irregular or no menstrual cycles, is having trouble getting pregnant, or displays masculine traits such as abundant facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, and/or a low voice, testosterone testing may be done. Testosterone levels can rise as a result of malignancies in the ovary or adrenal gland, as well as other illnesses including polycystic ovarian syndrome.

What does a Testosterone Total and Free with Sex Hormone Binding Globulin 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.

SHBG is a liver-produced protein that strongly binds to the hormones testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol. SHBG distributes these hormones in the blood as physiologically inactive versions when they are bound. This test examines the amount of SHBG in the blood and is most commonly used to determine whether a person has too much or too little testosterone.

In men, SHBG binds roughly 45 percent to 65 percent of testosterone in the blood, with the rest weakly and reversibly linked to albumin. Only around 2% to 3% of testosterone is accessible to tissues as free testosterone, but testosterone that is weakly linked to albumin is also bioavailable and can be rapidly absorbed by the body's tissues.

In women, a somewhat higher percentage of testosterone is bound to SHBG in the blood than in men. SHBG is important in controlling the quantities of bioavailable male sex hormones and estrogens circulating throughout the body in women. Because SHBG has a stronger affinity for the androgens testosterone and DHT, women with low SHBG may experience signs and symptoms of androgen excess.

A total testosterone test does not differentiate between bound and unbound testosterone; instead, it determines the total amount of testosterone present. In many circumstances, this is sufficient to determine if testosterone production is excessive or inadequate. However, if a person's SHBG level is abnormal, the total testosterone level may not accurately reflect the amount of testosterone available to the person's tissues. When a person's indications and symptoms do not match the results of a total testosterone test, a SHBG test may be conducted.

Lab tests often ordered with a Testosterone Free and Total with Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test:

  • Estradiol
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogens
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Albumin
  • Prolactin
  • Anti-mullerian Hormone
  • Androstenedione

Conditions where a Testosterone Free and Total with Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test is recommended:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Alcoholism
  • Mumps
  • Hypothalamic disease
  • Pituitary disease
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Testicular cancer
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Testosterone Free and Total with Sex Hormone Binding Globulin test?

In men, women, girls, and boys, testosterone testing is used to identify a variety of problems. Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males, and it is responsible for masculine physical traits. It is produced mostly by the testicles. Although it is thought to be a "male" sex hormone, it is found in both males and females.

The testosterone test can be used to determine whether or not you're experiencing:

  • Delayed or early puberty in boys
  • In both men and women, sex drive has decreased.
  • Men's erectile dysfunction
  • Male and female infertility
  • Tumors of the testicles in men
  • Disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
  • Virilization and hirsutism in girls and women

A testosterone total test is usually used to diagnose a condition. The free and total testosterone test distinguishes between testosterone that is bound to proteins in the blood and testosterone that is not attached to proteins.

About two-thirds of testosterone is tied to SHBG in the blood, with the remaining one-third attached to albumin. Free testosterone circulates in a tiny percentage. Bioavailable testosterone is made up of free testosterone and testosterone bound to albumin, and it can operate on target tissues.

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.

Other tests and hormone levels may be performed in conjunction with testosterone testing, depending on the reason for testing. Here are a few examples:

  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • SHBG
  • DHEA-S
  • Prolactin
  • Androstenedione
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone
  • The sex hormone binding globulin test can be performed to determine whether a man has low testosterone or if a woman has too much testosterone. It can be used in conjunction with other tests to assess a person's sex hormone status.

SHBG is a protein that binds to testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and estradiol, among other hormones. SHBG distributes these hormones in the blood as physiologically inactive versions when they are bound. Changes in SHBG levels can have an impact on the amount of hormone accessible to the body's tissues.

To assess a person's current hormonal balance, tests for albumin and one or more additional sex hormones, such as prolactin, estradiol, and LH may be conducted.

In men

In order to diagnose the cause of infertility, diminished sex drive, or erectile dysfunction in an adult male, SHBG and total testosterone levels may be ordered. When total testosterone findings are contradictory with clinical symptoms, measuring SHBG in addition to testosterone is extremely beneficial.

Total testosterone in the blood is measured without distinguishing between bound and unbound testosterone; rather, it determines the total amount of testosterone in the blood. In many circumstances, this is sufficient to determine if testosterone production is excessive or inadequate. However, if a person's SHBG level is abnormal, the total testosterone level may not accurately reflect the amount of testosterone available to the body's tissues.

With a simple total testosterone assessment, health practitioners can estimate bioavailable testosterone by measuring SHBG. Because less testosterone is accessible to the body's tissues, increased SHBG in males may be linked to symptoms of low testosterone levels.

Total testosterone should be measured in the initial screening for testosterone deficiency, according to the Endocrine Society's professional standards. If the results are abnormal, the test is repeated the next day. They propose one of the following if repeat readings are low-normal and/or SHBG is abnormal:

In women

The ovaries and adrenal glands produce modest amounts of testosterone in women. Even little increases in testosterone production can throw off the hormone balance, resulting in symptoms including irregular or missed periods, infertility, acne, and excessive face and body hair. These and other signs and symptoms are common in polycystic ovarian syndrome, a disorder marked by an overproduction of male sex hormones. SHBG and testosterone testing may be helpful in detecting and evaluating excess testosterone production and/or decreasing SHBG concentrations, as well as in evaluating women with PCOS.

What does my testosterone test result mean?

Males: 

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

Females:

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.

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


Please note: If Testosterone, Total, Males (Adult) Only #873 is ordered for a pediatric or female patient, the lab will automatically change the test to and charge for Testosterone, Total, MS #15983.

Description: Testosterone, Total, Male is a blood test used to detect abnormal levels of testosterone in male patients, diagnose causes of erectile dysfunction and infertility.

Also Known As: Total Testosterone Test, Testosterone Total Test, Male Testosterone Test, Testosterone Male Test, Testosterone Test

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

This test is for male patients 18 years of age and older only. Pediatric and Female patients will need to order Testosterone, Total, MS #15983.

Due to changes in testosterone levels throughout the day, two morning (8:00-10:00 a.m.) specimens obtained on different days are recommended by The Endocrine Society for screening.

This test can report a value up to 3000 ng/dL. any number >3000 will be stated as >3000.

When is a Testosterone Total Male test ordered?

When infertility is suspected, or when a man has decreased sex drive or erectile difficulties, a testosterone test may be ordered. Other signs include a lack of beard and body hair, a loss of muscle mass, and the formation of breast tissue. Low total and bioavailable testosterone levels have also been linked to, or caused by, increased visceral fat, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

What does a Testosterone Total Male blood test check for?

In men, testosterone is the primary sex hormone. It's in charge of a man's physical appearance. 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 made by the adrenal glands in males.

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.

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 Male test:

  • Estradiol
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogens
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Albumin
  • Prolactin
  • Anti-mullerian Hormone
  • Androstenedione
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where a Testosterone Total Male test is recommended:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Alcoholism
  • Mumps
  • Hypothalamic disease
  • Pituitary disease
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Testicular cancer
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How is this test used by my health care provider?

In men, testosterone testing is used to identify a variety of problems. Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males, and it is responsible for masculine physical traits. It is produced mostly by the testicles.

The testosterone test can be used to determine whether or not you're experiencing:

  • Decreases sex drive
  • Men's erectile dysfunction
  • Male infertility
  • Tumors of the testicles in men
  • Disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland

A testosterone total test is usually used to diagnose a condition. The free and total testosterone test distinguishes between testosterone that is bound to proteins in the blood and testosterone that is not attached to proteins.

About two-thirds of testosterone is tied to SHBG in the blood, with the remaining one-third attached to albumin. Free testosterone circulates in a tiny percentage. Bioavailable testosterone is made up of free testosterone and testosterone bound to albumin, and it can operate on target tissues.

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.

Other tests and hormone levels may be performed in conjunction with testosterone testing, depending on the reason for testing. Here are a few examples:

  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • SHBG
  • DHEA-S
  • Prolactin
  • Androstenedione
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone

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

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


Description: Testosterone, Total, MS is a blood test used to detect abnormal levels of testosterone in both male and female patients, and diagnose causes of erectile dysfunction, infertility, virilization, polycystic ovary syndrome, and delayed or early puberty in children.

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?

When infertility is suspected, or when a man has decreased sex drive or erectile difficulties, a testosterone test may be ordered. Other signs include a lack of beard and body hair, a loss of muscle mass, and the formation of breast tissue. Low total and bioavailable testosterone levels have also been linked to, or caused by, increased visceral fat, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

The test is frequently ordered in conjunction with the FSH and LH tests in males who are experiencing delayed or slow puberty. Although the age at which puberty begins varies from person to person, it usually begins around the age of ten. The following are some of the signs and symptoms of delayed puberty:

  • Muscle mass development is delayed.
  • Voice not getting lower or a lack of body hair growth
  • Growth of the testicles and penis is slowed or delayed.

When a young boy appears to be going through an early puberty with clear secondary sex traits, the test can be ordered. Various malignancies and congenital adrenal hyperplasia can cause early puberty in boys due to elevated testosterone.

When a woman has irregular or no menstrual cycles, is having trouble getting pregnant, or displays masculine traits such as abundant facial and body hair, male pattern baldness, and/or a low voice, testosterone testing may be done. Testosterone levels can rise as a result of malignancies in the ovary or adrenal gland, as well as other illnesses including polycystic ovarian syndrome.

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:

  • Estradiol
  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogens
  • Estriol
  • Estrone
  • Albumin
  • Prolactin
  • Anti-mullerian Hormone
  • Androstenedione
  • Sex Hormone Binding Globulin

Conditions where a Testosterone Total test is recommended:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Alcoholism
  • Mumps
  • Hypothalamic disease
  • Pituitary disease
  • Infertility
  • Liver disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Eating disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Cushing Syndrome
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Testicular cancer
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

Commonly Asked Questions:

How does my health care provider use a Testosterone Total test?

In men, women, girls, and boys, testosterone testing is used to identify a variety of problems. Testosterone is the major sex hormone in males, and it is responsible for masculine physical traits. It is produced mostly by the testicles. Although it is thought to be a "male" sex hormone, it is found in both males and females.

The testosterone test can be used to determine whether or not you're experiencing:

  • Delayed or early puberty in boys
  • In both men and women, sex drive has decreased.
  • Men's erectile dysfunction
  • Male and female infertility
  • Tumors of the testicles in men
  • Disorders of the hypothalamus or pituitary gland
  • Virilization and hirsutism in girls and women

A testosterone total test is usually used to diagnose a condition. The free and total testosterone test distinguishes between testosterone that is bound to proteins in the blood and testosterone that is not attached to proteins.

About two-thirds of testosterone is tied to SHBG in the blood, with the remaining one-third attached to albumin. Free testosterone circulates in a tiny percentage. Bioavailable testosterone is made up of free testosterone and testosterone bound to albumin, and it can operate on target tissues.

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.

Other tests and hormone levels may be performed in conjunction with testosterone testing, depending on the reason for testing. Here are a few examples:

  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estrogen
  • Estradiol
  • SHBG
  • DHEA-S
  • Prolactin
  • Androstenedione
  • 17-Hydroxyprogesterone

What does my testosterone test result mean?

Males: 

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

Females:

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.

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



When trying to get pregnant, many different factors can affect the likelihood that you and your female partner will get pregnant. Your medical history, sperm concentration, and lifestyle can all affect how easy it will be for you to conceive. 

If you think that you might be struggling with male infertility and aren't sure, conducting a few simple fertility tests can help you understand what's going on. By speaking to your health care provider, you can see what's really causing the delay in conception.

This guide to male fertility testing will help guide you through what you need to know about male infertility and tests to see what's going on with your body. Let's take a look at what to know about male infertility tests.

What Is Male Infertility?

Male infertility is classified as any health issue that affects a man's ability to get a woman pregnant. Contrary to popular belief, this is a pretty common issue. In fact, 13% of couples are unable to get pregnant with unprotected sex. 

Male infertility is just as common as female infertility. Luckily, with a simple blood test and some semen samples, most male infertility issues can be easily solved. 

Risk factors for Male Infertility

While anyone can struggle with infertility issues, several factors can make a man more or less likely to be able to naturally conceive children. A few of the more common risk factors for male infertility include: 

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking tobacco or illicit drugs
  • Having past or present STDs and other infections
  • Toxin exposure
  • Excessive weight
  • Overheating of the testicles
  • Trauma or injury to the testicles

All of these risk factors can impact how easy it will be for a man to get pregnant. If you have any of these risk factors, getting a sperm analysis or lab work done can help you figure out what's really going on. 

Causes of Male Infertility

There are many different reasons why men may not have optimal sperm production. Health problems could stop sperm cells from growing or could prevent men from producing a high enough sperm concentration.

Here are a few of the more common causes of male infertility that you should be aware of: 

  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • Lowered sperm count
  • Obstructions in the reproductive tract
  • Sperm disorders
  • Medicines
  • Hormones
  • Varicoceles
  • Blockage in the vans deferens

These are only a few of the many reasons why a man may not be able to get a woman pregnant. To fully understand the reason, a physical exam and lab testing are required to see what's going on.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Male Infertility?

Certain physical signs and symptoms can indicate that you have male infertility. Keeping an eye out for these issues can help you identify early on if it will be difficult for you to get pregnant. 

A few common signs and symptoms of male infertility include: 

  • Ejaculation issues
  • Lumps, pain, or swelling on the testicles
  • Respiratory infections
  • Loss of smell
  • Gynecomastia
  • Decreased body hair
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Low sperm count

Remember, just because you have one of these symptoms doesn't mean that you are necessarily infertile. You will need to get the proper tests done to truly find out whether or not you can have kids naturally. 

How Is Male Infertility Diagnosed?

If you suspect that you have male infertility, there are a few lab tests that you can take. The process of diagnosing male infertility requires several steps. 

To start, you'll undergo a physical exam in which you'll go over your medical history. From there, you'll typically undergo several genetic tests as well to see what else might be affecting your fertility. 

Next, you'll need to take several lab tests. These tests typically include hormonal tests, a semen evaluation, and a urinalysis. With this information, most doctors can tell if you have an infertility issue. 

However, if the doctor can't provide you with a clear diagnosis, he or she may require additional testing. Additional tests include: 

  • Testicular biopsy
  • Ultrasound
  • Sperm penetration assay
  • Anti-sperm antibodies test
  • Semen leukocyte analysis
  • Seminal fructose test
  • Post ejaculate urinalysis
  • Kruger and WHO Morphology
  • Vasography

Each of these tests will tell the doctor something different about your body and what might be going on. Once you've had all the necessary tests conducted, your doctor should be able to tell you whether or not you have an infertility issue.

Benefits of Male Infertility Lab Testing with Ulta Lab Tests

Ulta Lab Tests offers highly accurate and reliable tests so that you can make informed decisions about your health. Here are a few great things to love about Ulta Lab Tests:

  • You'll get secure and confidential results
  • You don't need health insurance
  • You don't need a physician's referral
  • You'll get affordable pricing
  • We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee

With all those benefits, getting a fertility test for men done at Ulta Labs can be a great way to help you combat male infertility and start getting pregnant. And, it's a great way to avoid Vitro fertilization and other expensive pregnancy methods if you don't need it!

Get Started With Male Infertility Tests

Running male infertility tests can be a great way to help you conceive faster and see what's going on behind the scenes. And, it's a way to help rule out other health issues and keep you and your partner safe.

If you're ready to get started with male infertility tests, you're in the right place. Order your hormone lab tests today, and your results will be provided to you securely and confidentially online in 24 to 48 hours for most tests. Take control with Ulta Lab Tests today!