In females, the ovaries produce most of the testosterone. 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
Male-pattern baldness or hair thinning
Male: 300 -1,000 ng/dL
Female: 15 - 70 ng/dL
Note: ng/dL = nanograms per deciliter
The examples above are common measurements for results for these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Some labs use different measurements or test different specimens.Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
What abnormal results mean
Increased testosterone levels may mean:
Androgen resistance (resistance to the action of male hormones)
Condition in which the pituitary gland does not produce normal amounts of some or all of its hormones
Failure of the testicles
Noncancerous tumor of the pituitary cells that produces too much of the hormone prolactin
What the risks are
Veins and arteries vary in size from one patient to another and from one side of the body to the other. Obtaining a blood sample from some people may be more difficult than from others.
Other risks associated with having blood drawn are slight, but may include:
Fainting or feeling light-headed
Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)
Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken)
Swerdloff RS, Wang C. The testis and male sexual function. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 242.
Shehzad Topiwala, MD, Chief Consultant Endocrinologist, Premier Medical Associates, The Villages, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.