It is suggested that bioavailable testosterone represents the fraction of circulating testosterone that readily enters cells and better reflects the bioactivity of testosterone than does the simple measurement of serum total testosterone. Also, varying levels of SHBG can result in inaccurate measurements of bioavailable testosterone. Decreased SHBG levels can be seen in obesity, hypothyroidism , androgen use, and nephritic syndrome (a form of kidney disease ). Increased levels are seen in cirrhosis , hyperthyroidism , and estrogen use. In these situations, measurement of free testosterone may be more useful.
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Despite not being a hormone usually associated with women, testosterone is required in women's bodies in small quantities. Testosterone is present in all females and helps to regulate sexual function and desire. When a woman approaches the mature years of her life, her body's production of hormones decreases considerably. Such a stage of life is referred to as menopause, and with it come a plethora of symptoms. These can include: night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, hair loss, and depression. When women experience a decrease in testosterone levels, the primary symptom is a loss of interest in sex.