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Is There a Test for Testosterone Levels?

Is There a Test for Testosterone Levels?

sana sarwat |

Is There a Test for Testosterone Levels?

Testosterone is an important hormone for the growth and function of both men and women - and having too much or too little can cause health complications. Fortunately, there are tests for testosterone levels both at the doctor’s and ones you can take at home, so you can easily determine if you have sufficient levels of testosterone. But, why testosterone is important and why people with certain symptoms should have their testosterone levels checked, we’re about to explain.

What Is Testosterone?

What Is Testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone known as an androgen, or a sex hormone, that aids physical development in both males and females, although men have much higher levels than women. In men, testosterone is made in the testicles, while in women it is partially made in the ovaries, the adrenal glands and their surrounding tissue, so there are several potential causes of low testosterone, or high testosterone levels in the blood.

Testosterone plays a significant role during puberty, causing body hair, a deeper voice and muscle growth in boys, while girls experience muscle and bone growth. In adults of both sexes, testosterone controls the sex drive, or libido, and maintains muscle mass, as well as making sperm in men. Although, testosterone levels decrease with age in men and women, at about 1% each year in men from the age of 30 - 40, which can cause several symptoms if the testosterone levels fall too low. Lacking testosterone doesn’t necessarily cause male infertility, however, it may have a negative impact on the number of sperm produced.

Low Testosterone Symptoms

Low testosterone levels are considered to be less than 300 ng/dL (nanograms per decilitre) for adult men, and less than 15 ng/dL for women. However, they both naturally drop as we age, so if your results are borderline and you’re in your 30s or 40s, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern.

Men will often experience these symptoms of low testosterone:

  • Low sex drive
  • Tiredness
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Irritability
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Depression

These symptoms can each be caused by another health concern, so it’s a good idea to take a testosterone test to find or rule out the cause.

Women’s symptoms of low testosterone have historically been neglected and are only just receiving attention in the medical community, as they are less clearly a result of hormone levels and can be symptoms of stress or a mental health condition.

Women’s symptoms of low testosterone include:

  • Low sex drive
  • Tiredness
  • Depression

An at-home testosterone test will easily be able to determine testosterone levels in men and women, so you don’t have to deal with fighting with your doctor for a blood test.

How Do You Test Testosterone Levels?

How Do You Test Testosterone Levels?

Testosterone is easy to check thanks to excellent blood tests that can determine your total testosterone levels, your free testosterone and your albumin-bound, also known as bioavailable, testosterone.

Either by booking a doctor’s appointment to have some blood samples taken, or saving time and buying a testosterone test to take at home for just £39, you can take a small blood sample and send it off to the medical laboratory for testing. With at-home tests, you take the blood through a lancet that you press against the tip of your finger, and you’ll have your results securely emailed to you or made available in the test provider’s app.

When to Take a Testosterone Test

Both low and high testosterone levels can have a serious impact on men’s health, and women’s health. So, if you experience any symptoms of a deficiency or surplus of testosterone, you should get your testosterone levels tested, either with a doctor or with a home testosterone test kit.

But abnormal levels of testosterone can also be caused by a number of issues, including damage to or loss of the testicles in men, and Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in women, so if you have experienced trauma to the testicles had one removed due to cancer, or experience any other symptoms of PCOS, you should also monitor your testosterone levels according to your medical examiner’s advice.

Testosterone levels also need to be tested in children and teenagers if they’re experiencing early signs of puberty, or their puberty is delayed in order to find out the cause and treat accordingly.

What Time of Day Should You Take Testosterone Tests?

Testosterone levels are best tested in the morning as they decrease throughout the day; the blood sample for a testosterone test is best collected between 6 and 10 am for the most reliable results. In some cases, you’ll be advised to fast for several hours before you take the test, which is easiest done first thing in the morning, but you should consult your doctor or the instructions in the home test before taking the test.

Do Women Need to Take Testosterone Tests?

Do Women Need to Take Testosterone Tests?

Since men have higher levels of testosterone, it’s more common for men to take testosterone tests, often to determine the cause of their lack of sex drive or inability to conceive, however, testosterone has a great impact on women’s health too, and should be tested when symptoms of high or low testosterone arise.

When women have testosterone levels outside of the normal range, it can show they are at risk of having PCOS or fertility issues, and low levels of testosterone can sometimes be caused by low oestrogen or the menopause, so it’s best to find out about your testosterone levels sooner than later to be aware of any health issues to get the best results from treatment. Sometimes a doctor will also perform an LH, Luteinizing Hormone, or FSH, Follicle-Stimulating Hormone test to better understand the cause of the low testosterone levels.

Testosterone tests are most often performed for women experiencing high testosterone as the symptoms are more obvious, however, women can also experience low testosterone levels. This is often overlooked as the symptoms of low testosterone in women are commonly confused with depression or depressive disorders, so if you’re experiencing any symptoms of low testosterone and your doctor is neglecting testing in favour of therapy for mental health, you’d greatly benefit from taking your own testosterone test at home and providing your medical practitioner with the results.

High Testosterone Symptoms

Men and women will experience different symptoms of having high testosterone, however, both can have concerning health consequences, so testosterone levels should be tested and reduced when they’re too high. For women, levels over 70 ng/dL is considered to be high, and over 1200 ng/dL for men.

Women with high testosterone levels may experience:

  • Hair growth in typically male areas such as the face, hands or back
  • Irregular or no menstruation
  • A low voice
  • Acne
  • Infertility

Men with high testosterone levels may experience:

  • Hypertension
  • High sex drive
  • Increased aggression
  • Excessive body hair
  • Headaches
  • Heart or liver problems
  • Increased appetite

Do Women Need to Take Testosterone Tests?

What to Do with Your Test Results

Once you’ve taken your home testosterone test, if your levels are within the normal ranges outlined in the information leaflet, then you don’t need to worry. However, if your testosterone levels are normal but you have symptoms that you wish to address such as erectile dysfunction, you should visit your doctor to learn what’s causing the issues and how you can treat it.

If your testosterone levels are outside of the normal ranges, you can make a number of lifestyle changes to increase your testosterone levels, including:

  • Eat a healthier, more balanced diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid drinking alcohol excessively

However, this isn’t necessarily a quick fix and, in some cases, there is a more serious or simple underlying cause that your doctor can help you find, so it’s best to make an appointment as soon as you can.

Get Your Home Testosterone Test Today!

At Official Rapid Tests, we want to enable everyone to have access to vital resources to look after their health, which is why we’ve developed a range of at-home medical tests. Browse our home test kits or buy your testosterone test today!