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Lab Test

Free Androgen Index (FAI)

Free Androgen Index (FAI)

Free Androgen Index (FAI) is a calculation used to determine the proportion of testosterone that is free (unbound) in the bloodstream. Testosterone is a type of androgen, which are hormones that play a crucial role in male traits and reproductive activity. In both men and women, testosterone affects muscle mass, bone density, and sex drive. Most of the testosterone in the body is bound to proteins - albumin and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Only a small fraction of testosterone is unbound, or "free," and biologically active, meaning it can exert its effects on the body.

  • Test NameFree Androgen Index (FAI)
  • Sample TypeBlood
  • Preparations RequiredThere are no specific instructions for this test. However, your doctor will guide you if any special preparation is required.
  • Report Time6 Hours

The FAI is calculated using the total testosterone level and the SHBG level. It is particularly useful in situations where SHBG levels may be altered, such as in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity, and hypothyroidism.

Home Sample Collection Process

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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

The FAI test is essential for determining the amount of active testosterone in your bloodstream. It can help diagnose conditions related to hormone imbalances, like PCOS, and guide appropriate treatment.

No, fasting is not typically required for the FAI test. However, follow your doctor's instructions.

No specific preparation is needed for this test.

This test may be recommended when a person exhibits symptoms of a hormone imbalance or conditions like PCOS, such as acne, irregular periods, or excessive hair growth in women.

The FAI test gives information about the proportion of testosterone that is free and active in the bloodstream.

The frequency of the test depends on the individual's health condition and doctor's recommendation.

The test is a simple blood draw, so the usual precautions related to blood tests apply. This includes the minor risk of bleeding, bruising at the site, or infection.

Certain medications, obesity, and health conditions like hypothyroidism or PCOS can affect your FAI levels.

An endocrinologist should be consulted if your FAI results are abnormal.

High FAI levels in women can lead to symptoms such as acne, irregular periods, or excessive hair growth. In men, it may lead to symptoms like low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, or infertility.

Yes, certain medications like steroids, oral contraceptives, and hormone therapy can affect the results of the FAI test.

Treatment options will depend on the underlying condition and may include lifestyle changes, medications to manage hormone levels, or surgery.

Abnormal FAI levels can lead to complications like PCOS, infertility, or metabolic syndrome.

With the correct treatment and lifestyle changes, abnormal FAI can often be managed effectively.

Yes, women also produce testosterone, albeit in smaller amounts than men. In women, it plays a crucial role in bone and muscle health, and sexual health.

Understanding the Free Androgen Index (FAI) can be beneficial in identifying hormonal imbalances that could impact your health. It's always advisable to discuss the results with your doctor who can provide further insights and guide the necessary next steps.

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