Have any questions? 888.828.4300info@tctmed.com

Have any questions?
888.828.4300info@tctmed.com

Normal Free Testosterone Levels — The Most Important Measure of Your Testosterone

Although they vary greatly between men and women, normal free testosterone levels are important starting points for anyone considering testosterone replacement therapy.

Normal Free Testosterone Levels

When getting your testosterone levels tested, I can’t stress enough the importance testing free testosterone (and not simply total testosterone).

And no, I’m not talking about analog or “direct” free testosterone tests — I mean a calculated free testosterone test.

For both men and women, free testosterone is one of the most important measures of hormonal health. The medical community has come up with some benchmarks to compare your levels with — here is what most would consider “normal” free testosterone levels.

Actually, before we hop into the numbers, I want to discuss one point.

These numbers I’m about to give you are just that — numbers. They’re averages based on tests of many, many different people.

They’re not one size fits all. If you’re experiencing symptoms, it really doesn’t matter what your levels are. You might not technically have low free testosterone, but you might still have testosterone levels that are too low for your body.

Everyone is different, and what works in your body might not work in someone else’s — that’s why we change dosing based on your body’s response (using numbers as a guideline) and recommend injections (which allow us to precisely measure and change your dose).

We do this for both men and women — and this is especially important for women, where the amounts involved are much smaller (making precision that much more important).

Now, let’s talk about normal free testosterone levels (and what exactly constitutes normal free testosterone levels in each sex).

Normal Free Testosterone Levels for Men and Women

Here are the normal free testosterone levels for both men and women. If you’d like to take a look at much more specific levels by age, check out the results of studies by the Mayo Clinic.

Men

9 – 30 ng/dl

Women

0.3 – 1.9 ng/dl

Of course, these numbers mean nothing if your levels are being checked inappropriately — that’s why it’s so critical to get the right test at the right time.

There are also other factors at play…

Sex Hormone Binding Globulin Affects Your Body’s Normal Free Testosterone Levels

We often see (mostly female) patients who are diagnosed with excessive testosterone, when in reality, they have too little testosterone.

Men are often told that their levels are “perfectly normal”, but unfortunately, they haven’t been thoroughly evaluated. Their free testosterone levels have not been measured correctly, and the role of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) has not been assessed properly.

SHBG has a perfectly descriptive name — it binds to your sex hormones, and, along with albumin, renders them effectively inert.

Your hormones can no longer act in your tissues the way they need to.

And if you have too much SHBG in your body, even if your total testosterone is normal (or even high!), you may effectively have low testosterone because your normal free testosterone levels are too low.

This is why proper testing is so critical, and why we focus on it in our practice.

To learn more about how to get your testosterone levels tested, click here.

SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

LOW T RESOURCES

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C

(Augie) Juan Augustine Galindo Jr. MPAS, PA-C started his career in healthcare as a fireman/paramedic in West Texas where he served on the Midland Fire Department from 1998-2004.   He became interested in testosterone treatment after seeing how hormone replacement doctors helped those suffering from low testosterone.   After graduating from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program, he moved to DFW where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

18 Comments

  1. Kevin Komorowski on 01/01/2017 at 8:37 am

    I’m getting ready to start trt here. I have an interesting situation. She said I have low t. Below 300. Two something. 250ish. Can’t remember at the moment. But here’s the thing, my free testosterone levels are well within the normal range. What’s that all about?
    I have all the symptoms of low t but I’m coming off a six year bout with oxy. Prescribed of course for an injury. Now that I’m off that will my levels come up naturally? 45 yo by the way. Exercising with weights again now too.
    Kevin

    • Augie Galindo on 01/05/2017 at 4:32 pm

      Kevin,

      I am dubious regarding your free testosterone report. My first inclination is to assume that your provider ordered an analog test (clinically useless and inaccurate) instead of a calculated free T.

      Cessation of opioids, regular workouts and other lifestyle changes can definitely set the stage for improved testosterone production. The only way to know if it will do enough is to give it the “old college try”.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  2. Louise on 04/18/2017 at 9:28 am

    My husband is convinced the testosterone shots caused him to gain over 40 pounds so he’s got enough of them got a gastric sleeve and now he has no desire he could care less about sex and refuses to do anything if it involves the testosterone shots I did however talk to me into doing the free testosterone test we’re waiting on the results they said they got them yesterday any thoughts or ideas on my situation thank you advance

    • Augie Galindo on 04/18/2017 at 10:59 am

      Louise,

      Testosterone can certainly induce weight gain, but this would be by an increase in lean mass. I have seen no evidence, in the literature or in clinical practice, that would suggest that TRT would make someone gain fat. This is invariably due to other factors that include dietary habits and caloric expenditures. Improving a low free testosterone level will help in improving body composition when coupled with exercise and a healthy diet. This does not necessarily mean that one would lose weight, but it would not lead to an increase in body fat.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

      • Louise on 06/26/2017 at 1:20 pm

        Thank you for responding to
        My question and I strongly agree and my question is what would you suggest he take that is not shots or pellets he refuses to do that is natural that we could find maybe at a health food store or online any input would be greatly appreciated I do have him
        on the DHEA and we have discussed several items from GNC like Nugenix and several items that is on Amazon not sure what to do

        • Louise on 06/26/2017 at 1:28 pm

          I was told is bottom number was a little low top number was in the normal range

    • Dan on 10/02/2017 at 8:29 pm

      I have been on trt for a number of years. I can tell you that it most certainly can make you gain weight rapidly. When I begin trt I will easily put on 10-15 lbs in a week of water weight. The only solution for me is to take a diaretic. A small bit of cardio will help as well.

      • Dan,

        This is not a common response. I see 300 patients per week in my clinic alone in a 3 clinic practice and I don’t have anyone having that kind of response. I would assume mismanaged estradiol levels may be playing a part in that.

        Best regards,
        Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
        Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  3. ROBERT on 06/03/2017 at 12:57 pm

    How can I lower my free test level from 80 to 60?

    • Augie Galindo on 06/24/2017 at 6:35 pm

      Robert,

      I am not sure why you would want to, but if you sleep poorly and infrequently, consume a lot of alcohol and trans fats, never work out or have sex, and focus on coping with stress in unhealthy ways, you would be sure to see a reduction in your free testosterone levels.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  4. Dee on 07/21/2017 at 4:23 pm

    I am a female over 50 and get testosterone pellet therapy. My recent blood levels show my total testosterone is a little high but my free testosterone is negligible. Normally when my free is negligible, my gynecologist puts in another pellet, however this time he is wanting to wait a few wks because my total testosterone is higher than normal range. Why would this happen and is it bad to have the pellet placed especially if my free testosterone level is severely low. Thanks

    • Augie Galindo on 08/03/2017 at 4:24 pm

      Dee,

      In my practice, we don’t use pellet therapy; I actually recommend against it. That being said, managing your care by your total T levels vs. your free is not what I consider best practice. It is typical for females to need a much higher than normal total testosterone level to achieve a desirable free testosterone level.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  5. John on 07/28/2017 at 4:28 pm

    Hi! My sex hormone binding globulin is 72.51 High. My free testo (calc) 59.3 %free testo 0.96 Low

    My cardiologist said that my testosterone is fine but I feel like it’s not and those analasys say Low. Can you please tell me your opinion.

    Thank you very much!

    John

    • Augie Galindo on 08/03/2017 at 4:45 pm

      John,

      The units of measure here are different from what I typically see, but I can tell you that with SHBG dysfunction, it is even more important make decisions and recommendations based off of your free testosterone levels.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  6. Ted on 10/23/2017 at 8:42 am

    I have high shgb and low free testosterone, but normal testosterone levels. How can I increase my free T?

    • Ted,

      There are a few OTC supplements that claim to do exactly that, but I have never seen demonstrable improvement in patients who tried those before coming to see me. Often, replacement is necessary. You may, however, want to look into your thyroid function.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

  7. joe on 10/24/2017 at 1:12 am

    hello, for years i was overweight and constantly exhausted with no sex drive at all. 18months ago i had gastric sleeve surgery and lost over 140lb. i am now in very good shape and work out 4-6 days a week. i am having a very tough time gaining muscle mass. i have more energy but not much more. my sex drive still isn’t there and i am having erectile dysfunction most of the time too.
    last checked (10months ago) my total test. was 589, my free test. was 47 and my free test. % was 0.8. i just requested all my testosterone be checked again. whats your thoughts on my situation and should i ask to have my SHBG checked also?

    thank you

    • Joe,

      Congratulations on your progress. It is often assumed, for overweight individuals, that isolated weight loss will fix all that ails you. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Definitely proceed with checking your calculated free testosterone level. You will need your total, SHBG, and albumin for your calculated free T.

      Best regards,
      Augie Galindo MPAS, PA-C
      Testosterone Centers of Texas | Founding Partner

Leave a Comment