Fertility Tests

SHBG Infertility Test


SKU: SHBG. Category: .

Product Description

SHBG Infertility Test

Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) or sex steroid-binding globulin (SSBG) is a glycoprotein that binds to sex hormones, to be specific, androgens and estrogens.

A Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) test is most commonly used to evaluate the status of a patient’s androgens – the male hormones.  With men, the issue of concern istestosterone deficiency, while with women the concern is excess testosterone production.

The SHBG test measures the concentration of SHBG in the blood.  SHBG is a protein produced by the liver.  SHBG binds tightly to testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and estradiol (anestrogen) before transporting them in the blood in a metabolically inactive form.

The amount of SHBG in circulation is affected by age and sex.  Concentrations are normally high in children; after puberty, SHBG levels decrease more rapidly in males than in females.  Levels normally remain stable in adults and begin to increase in the elderly male at the same time that total testosterone levels begin to decrease.  In postmenopausal women, SHBG, testosterone, and estrogen concentrations all decrease as hormone production by the ovariestapers off.

Why it is Recommended

A total testosterone test does not distinguish between bound and unbound testosterone; it only determines the overall quantity of testosterone.  This is usually suitable for determining whether there is excessive or deficient testosterone production, but if SHBG levels are not normal, then the total testosterone value may be an inaccurate measure of the amount of testosterone that is available to a patient’s tissues.  Therefore, the most common reason to have this test performed is to discover whether the concentration of SHBG is affecting the amount of testosterone available to the body’s tissues.

For men: SHBG and testosterone levels may be ordered to help determine the cause of infertility, a decreased sex drive, or erectile dysfunction, especially when total testosterone test results are inconsistent with clinical signs.

For women: Small amounts of testosterone are produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands.  Even slight increases in testosterone production, caused for example by polycystic ovarian syndrome, can cause hormone imbalance and lead to conditions such as amenorrhea, infertility, acne, and hirsutism.

Bioavailability of the sex hormones testosterone and estradiol is influenced by the level of SHBG, which decreases the active form of the hormones that is available to the body.  High levels of insulin and androgens decrease SHBG level, whereas thyroid hormone and estrogenincrease it.  It is also affected by decreased or increased testosterone or estrogen production.

Conditions with low SHBG include ovarian cysts, diabetes, hypothyroidism, obesity, Cushing’s disease, and androgen use.  Conditions with high SHBG include pregnancy, hyperthyroidism, liver disease, anorexia, and estrogen use.  There has recently been research to link high SHBG levels with breast and testicular cancer as well.

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Trusted Labs services are for informational purposes only. It is not the intention of Trusted Labs Ltd to provide specific medical advice but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health. Specific medical advice including diagnosis and treatment will not be provided. Always seek the advice of a trained health professional for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Both the physician and the testing laboratory are independent contractors with whom Trusted Labs Ltd makes arrangements for your blood tests. No external testing laboratory or Trusted Labs Ltd will be liable for any acts or omissions of the physician, the testing laboratory, or their agents or employees.

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