How It Is Done
The health professional taking a sample
of blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of
blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a
needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle
- Put pressure to the site and then a bandage.
How It Feels
The blood sample is taken from a vein in
your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight.
You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or
There is very little chance of a problem from
having a blood sample taken from a vein.
- You may get a small bruise at the site. You can lower the chance
of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.
- In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample
is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. A warm compress can be used several
times a day to treat this.
- Ongoing bleeding can be a problem for people with bleeding
disorders. Aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can
make bleeding more likely. If you have bleeding or clotting problems, or if you
take blood-thinning medicine, tell your doctor before your blood sample is
testosterone test checks the level of this male
hormone (androgen) in the blood.
The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.
Your doctor will have your test results in a few days.
270–1070 ng/dL (9–38 nmol/L)
15–70 ng/dL (0.52–2.4 nmol/L)
Children (depends on sex and age at puberty)
2–20 ng/dL or 0.07–0.7 nmol/L
The testosterone level for a postmenopausal woman is
about half the normal level for a healthy, nonpregnant woman. And a pregnant
woman will have 3 to 4 times the amount of testosterone compared to a healthy,
50–210 pg/mL (174–729 pmol/L)
|1.0–8.5 pg/mL (3.5–29.5 pmol/L)
- In men, a high level of testosterone may be caused by cancer of
adrenal glands .
- In boys younger than 10, a high level of testosterone may mean
early (precocious) puberty, a tumor in the testicles, or an abnormal adrenal
- In women, a high level of testosterone may be caused by cancer
of the ovaries or adrenal glands or by
polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). In rare cases, the part of the ovary that makes testosterone can become very sensitive to luteinizing hormone (LH), causing very high testosterone levels. This condition is called hyperthecosis.
- In men or boys who have gone through puberty, a low level of
testosterone may be caused by a problem with the testicles, such as slow
development of, an injury to, or a lack of testicles. It can also be caused
from treatment with the female hormone
estrogen, a problem with the
pituitary gland , or many long-term (chronic)
- A low testosterone level in men can also be caused by certain
inherited diseases (such as
Klinefelter syndrome or
Down syndrome), liver disease (cirrhosis), or treatment for cancer of the
- Long-term (chronic) alcohol use can cause a low testosterone
- In women, a low level of testosterone may be caused by an
underactive pituitary gland,
Addison's disease, loss of
ovary function through disease or surgery, and some
medicines (such as
corticosteroids or estrogen).
- Being very overweight, having long-term (chronic) pain, or taking some pain medicines can lower the level of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). This also decreases total testosterone level.