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Free Androgen Index


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The free androgen index is an estimate of physiologically active testosterone. It is calculated as a molar ratio of total testosterone to sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG). Example formula : (Total Testosterone/SHGB)x100

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Purpose of the test

The primary objective of the Free Androgen Index (FAI) test is to measure and assess the levels of androgens, specifically testosterone, in the blood. This test provides a ratio that compares the total testosterone to a protein called sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG). By doing so, it helps in determining whether an individual has abnormal androgen levels, which can be indicative of various health conditions or hormonal imbalances.

Who Should Get Tested

Both men and women can benefit from the FAI test. Individuals showing signs of abnormal androgen levels are prime candidates. For women, symptoms like excessive body or facial hair, fatigue, bone mass loss, or decreased sexual interest might indicate the need for testing. In men, the test is relevant if there are signs of delayed puberty in teens or symptoms like muscle strength loss, breast development, or diminished sexual interest in adults.

Preparing for the Test
Depending on the type of cholesterol test, you may be required to fast for 9 to 12 hours before the test. This means avoiding all food and drinks except water. Fasting is usually required for a lipid panel, which measures LDL and HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Inform your healthcare provider about any medications you are currently taking, including over-the-counter medications and supplements, as they can affect your test results.
Avoid alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours before the test, as alcohol can raise triglyceride levels.
Avoid heavy exercise for 24 hours before the test, as this can also affect cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Avoid smoking or using any nicotine products for at least 30 minutes before the test, as they can temporarily increase cholesterol levels.
Follow instructions
Follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider, such as the time of day to take the test or any dietary restrictions.
Interpreting Test Results

Test results can vary based on age, gender, health history, and other factors. It's essential to understand that results falling outside the "normal" range might not necessarily indicate a problem. For instance, males typically have testosterone levels ranging from 270 to 1,070 ng/dL, while females have levels between 15 to 70 ng/dL. Any significant deviations from these ranges might warrant further investigation. It's always best to consult with a healthcare provider to interpret the results in the context of individual health and symptoms.

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