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Testosterone

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Your doctor will have your test results in a few days.

Total testosterone 1

Men

270–1070 ng/dL (9–38 nmol/L)

Women

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, nonpregnant woman.

Free testosterone 1

Men

50–210 pg/mL (174–729 pmol/L)

Women

1.0–8.5 pg/mL (3.5–29.5 pmol/L)

High values

  • In men, a high level of testosterone may be caused by cancer of the testicles camera.gif or adrenal glands camera.gif.
  • In boys younger than 10, a high level of testosterone may mean early (precocious) puberty, a tumor in the testicles, or an abnormal adrenal gland.
  • 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.

Low values

  • 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 camera.gif, or many long-term (chronic) illnesses.
  • 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 prostate gland.
  • Long-term (chronic) alcohol use can cause a low testosterone level.
  • 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.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 17, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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