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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    I've had a high SHGB reading. What is this? I'm 52.

    I recently had my testosterone levels checked which were in the normal range but had a high SHGB. I've never taken HRT and not taken birth control for more than 20 years. I'm not sure what this is, I have googled and just got more confused. In February I started getting hot flushes and have just had my first period in four months. My other unusual symptoms are aches and pains.
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    Jean Hailes for Women’s Health is a leader in women’s health, supported by funding from the Australian Government. We provide trusted and easy-to-understand information to … View Profile

    Of the testosterone circulating in women's blood, about 66% is bound to a protein called SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin), 33% is bound to another protein called albumin, and only about 1% is free ('bioavailable'). Measuring free vs SHBG-bound testosterone in your blood is believed to be the most reliable indicator of how much testosterone your body's tissues are actually exposed to.

    High levels of SHBG-bound testosterone may indicate you have a reduced ability to ‘clear’ testosterone from your system, which is something a health provider should take into account if they're considering prescribing testosterone therapy for you.

    Our page on testosterone mesaurement is intended for Health Professionals, so is quite technical.

    General information on options for symptom management (in layman's terms) can be found at www.managingmenopause.org.au/management, but you should discuss your specific symptoms and concerns with a health professional face-to-face.

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