Free testosterone

free testosterone test

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is the main male sex hormone (androgen) produced in the testes which is responsible for male physical characteristics. Besides the male blood, testosterone is also found in the blood of females.  It is also produced by the adrenal glands in both males and females. A small amount of testosterone is also produced by the ovaries in the females.

What are the different types of testosterone?

There are two types of testosterone in the blood:

Attached testosterone: Testosterone attached to the proteins albumin and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).

Free testosterone: It circulates freely in the blood without binding with any protein.

What is the Free Testosterone test?

A Free Testosterone Test measures and monitors the level of the Free testosterone in the blood. Lesser than 4% of the testosterone in the blood circulates freely. It helps in the diagnosis of the conditions which are caused by the abnormalities in the levels of testosterone in the blood.

Why did my doctor recommend me to undergo the Free Testosterone test?

If your doctor had already recommended you a total testosterone test, and the reports show lower levels of testosterone, your  doctor might recommend you to undergo the Free testosterone test

– To diagnose the problems with erectile dysfunction.

– The testosterone levels also help in the determination of the reasons for the early or late puberty.

If you are a female and your doctor has asked you to undergo  the testosterone test, these can be the causes:

– To diagnose virilization (having masculine physical features)

– For the determination of the genital ambiguity.

– The reasons for infertility in females can also be determined by the Testosterone test.

– Diagnosis of PCOS(Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) can also be done using the testosterone test.

When should I undergo the Free Testosterone test?

If you are experiencing any signs and symptoms associated with the abnormal levels of the testosterone, the Free Testosterone is tested after the Total Testosterone Test. Some of the most common symptoms are listed below.

– Decreased body hair growth
– Muscle mass reduction.
– A lower drive for sex
– Erectile dysfunction
– Gynecomastia(the growth of breast tissue)
– Late puberty
– Damaged testes caused by trauma, alcoholism, or the mumps
– A hypothalamic disease
– A disease or disorder of the pituitary gland.
-A benign pituitary tumor

The common symptoms in a male for higher levels of the testosterone are:

– Early puberty
– Overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism
– Intake of anabolic steroids(synthetic or human-made, variations of the male sex hormone testosterone)
– Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia( mutations in the genes of the enzymes producing the steroid hormones)
– Androgen insensitivity syndrome
– Tumour in the testes
– Adrenal tumor
If you are a female, the common symptoms for the higher levels of the testosterone include:

– Irregularity in the menstrual periods.
– Infertility
– The growth of facial and body hair will be more
-A deepened voice is developed
-PCOS(PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome)
– Congenital adrenocortical hyperplasia
– A malignant tumor in the ovary or ovarian cancer.
– Tumor formation in the adrenal gland.

What are the preparations required for the Free Testosterone test?

There are no specific preparations required for the Free testosterone test. It is the same as that of the Testosterone test.

– The blood sample is collected in the morning since the testosterone level is highest at that point.

– Fasting is not required.

– Consult your doctor and inform him about all the medications that you are taking. He might suggest you if you need to stop any particular medication. Your doctor might suggest you stop a few medications that can affect the result of the Free testosterone test.

– No new medications are included.

What is the procedure of the Free Testosterone test?

The Free testosterone test is done by using a sample of blood. The blood sample is skilfully collected by the trained paramedics using the procedure of venipuncture. The procedure of venipuncture is done by the following steps elaborated below:

– A tourniquet is wrapped around the upper arm to make the veins more prominent.

– A syringe or needle is used to draw blood by puncturing the vein.

– The blood is drawn into the tube of the syringe.

– The tourniquet is unwrapped.

– An antiseptic is applied to the spot of venipuncture to avoid any infection.

– The spot of injection of the syringe is dabbed by a cotton swab or a bandage is put to stop any further bleeding.

– The blood sample is then sent to the laboratory for the Free Testosterone test.

Is the Free Testosterone test procedure painful?

There’s no pain associated with the collection of the blood sample. A person might feel a pin pricking sensation for a very brief moment after the test. There are no risks associated as such.

What are the risks of the Free Testosterone test?

There are some minute risks associated with the Free Testosterone test. Those risks are as follows:
– Some people feel light-headed and dizzy after the blood is drawn.

– It might cause Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin causing a lump or bruise).

– There might be pain associated with too many punctures for finding a vein.

What is the price of the Free Testosterone Test in India?

The average price of the Free Testosterone Test can range from Rs 200 to 2800 in India. It varies with the location of the laboratory or the diagnostic centre.

When will I get my reports?

You can expect the Free Testosterone Test result within 24 to 36 hours of the diagnosis.

What does my Free Testosterone test result depict?

The clinical ranges of the Free testosterone in the blood in both adult males and females are elaborated in the charts given below:

Age  Clinical range in an adult male Clinical range in an adult female
20-25 5.25-20.7 ng/dL 0.06-1.08 ng/d
25-30 5.05-19.8 ng/dL 0.06-1.06 ng/dL
30-35 4.85-19.0 ng/dL 0.06-1.03 ng/dL
35-40 4.65-18.1 ng/dL 0.06-1.00 ng/dL
40-45 4.46-17.1 ng/dL 0.06-0.98 ng/dL
45-50 4.26-16.4 ng/dL 0.06-0.95 ng/dL
50-55 4.06-15.6 ng/dL 0.06-0.92 ng/dL
55-60 3.87-14.7 ng/dL 0.06-0.90 ng/dL
60-65 3.67-13.9 ng/dL 0.06-0.87 ng/dL
65-70 3.67-13.9 ng/dL 0.06-0.87 ng/dL
70-75 3.67-13.9 ng/dL 0.06-0.87 ng/dL
75-80 3.28-12.2 ng/dL 0.06-0.84 ng/dL
80-85 3.08-11.3 ng/dL 0.06-0.79 ng/dL
85-90 2.88-10.5 ng/dL 0.06-0.76 ng/dL
90-100 2.69-9.61 ng/dL 0.06-0.73 ng/dL
100+ 2.49-8.76 ng/dL 0.06-0.71 ng/dL

What are the normal ranges of free testosterone in children?

Age Boys Girls
1-8 <0.04-0.11 ng/dL <0.04 ng/dL
9 <0.04-0.45 ng/dL <0.04-0.07 ng/dL
10 <0.04-1.26 ng/dL <0.04-0.14 ng/dL
11 <0.04-5.52 ng/dL <0.04-0.23 ng/dL
12 <0.04-9.28 ng/dL <0.04-0.34 ng/dL
13 <0.04-12.6 ng/dL <0.04-0.46 ng/dL
14 0.48-15.3 ng/dL <0.04-0.59 ng/dL
15 1.62-17.7 ng/dL <0.04-0.72 ng/dL
16 2.93-19.5 ng/dL <0.04-0.84 ng/dL
17 4.28-20.9 ng/dL <0.04-0.96 ng/dL
18 5.40-21.8 ng/dL <0.04-1.06 ng/dL
19 5.36-21.2 ng/dL <0.04-1.09 ng/dL

What does it mean if I have higher levels of Free testosterone?

Having higher levels of testosterone might indicate the following:

Males  Females 
Androgen Resistance Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Cushing’s Disease Hyperthecosis
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Cushing’s Disease
PCOS(PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome)

What does it mean if I have a lower level of the Free Testosterone?

Lower levels of the Free Testosterone indicate the following in both males and females:

– Hypogonadism 
– Deficiency of p450c17 enzyme

Is the Free Testosterone test recommended for pregnant women?

The higher levels of testosterone in women can have serious effects on the fetus. If your doctor suggests you the Free Testosterone test, it is very significant for pregnant women to undergo the Free Testosterone test.

Is the Free Testosterone test safe for my unborn?

It is completely safe for the fetus when the mother undergoes the Free Testosterone test. The test involves collecting the blood sample from the mother’s upper arm by using the procedure of venipuncture.

When should I take my kid for the Free testosterone test?

– If your kid is experiencing symptoms regarding the abnormalities in the levels of the testosterone, it is recommended for your kid to undergo the Free Testosterone Test.

– If your kid is experiencing early or late puberty, the Free Testosterone test is suggested.

The common symptoms in the kids due to the abnormalities in the levels of Free Testosterone. In the case of males, the lesser facial hair growth is the symptom of late puberty. The Free testosterone test is highly recommended.

Gynecomastia(development of breasts in males) is a symptom which should be diagnosed by the Free testosterone test.In the case of females, more facial growth is the symptom of masculine development. This is diagnosed by the Free Testosterone test.


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