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HEALTH TESTS

What Is The Testosterone Test? Answering 5 Important Questions About It

A testosterone test may count free testosterone or total testosterone

You can get the report of testosterone blood test within 5 business days

A testosterone test may be conducted along with other lab tests

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
April 22nd, 2022
10 mins read

Testosterone is an essential hormone found in both males and females, but is known as the main sex hormone in males. It helps with the development of muscles in the body while deepening the voice. Its main function is to help with production of sperm in the male body. Women’s bodies produce testosterone too, but in small amounts. For them it is produced in the ovaries and helps maintain hormone balance while regulating other body functions [1]. There are two kinds of testosterone in the blood. The first type is the bound testosterone which binds to different proteins like sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and serum albumin in your blood. Second is the free testosterone that does not attach to proteins. Read on to understand what the testosterone test is and why it is important.

Testosterone Test

What is a testosterone test?

Testosterone test may help your doctor identify if you have high or low testosterone in your blood, which could in turn help diagnose any underlying condition. There are two kinds of tests. The first procedure measures the total testosterone including the free and bound testosterone. The second procedure determines the free testosterone. You could have low or high levels of testosterone due to various reasons. Doctors may order different tests based on what they suspect your health condition. Guidelines indicate that normal T range for levels of morning testosterone in males is 300 to 1000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL) [2]. However, it is important to note that the normal T depends on variety of influences and other factors. These include: 

  • Comorbid medical conditions 
  • Stress 
  • Age 
  • Time of taking the test  

The average range of testosterone level may fluctuate between individuals. Testosterones also vary with age and major growth events like puberty. 

Additional Read: HCG Blood Test 

testosterone boosting foods

How does this test work?

The testosterone test is a simple form of blood test. This test is usually carried out in the morning when your testosterone level is the highest. Doctors will first conduct your physical examination to test whether you have high or low level of cholesterol in your body. They may ask for prior medical history and medications that you take before ordering a testosterone blood test. It is a simple blood test that involves taking a blood sample by using a small needle. The process of blood collection typically takes only a few minutes, and you can get the results within 5 business days. Your doctor may instruct you to stop taking medications that could affect your testosterone levels like the ones for estrogen and androgen therapies. There are chances that your doctor will order more than one test spanned across days to get a more accurate average of your testosterone levels.

Can you take a testosterone test at home?

There is an availability of various kinds of at-home testing kits that you can use to measure your testosterone levels. These kits check your hormone levels using a saliva swab. There is continuous debate on the reliability and accuracy of these home testosterone tests. While these tests offer an easy and quick way to check your testosterone levels, the gold accuracy remains the testosterone blood test.

testosterone blood test

When should you take a testosterone test?

The testosterone test is an important tool for doctors to help them understand your level of hormonal imbalance and the risk of underlying conditions. Doctors may order this test or you can take it when you are facing conditions like  

  • Infertility 
  • Delayed puberty 
  • Decrease in sex drive 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Irregular menstrual cycle 
  • Excess growth of body hair 
  • Early puberty 
  • Issues in your hypothalamus 
  • Tumors in your testicles 
  • Abnormal gain in weight 
  • disorders in the pituitary gland 
  • Low levels of energy 
  • Hot flashes  

Symptoms for high and low testosterone

Doctors may order a testosterone test for males if they suspect low or high testosterone levels. The symptoms of low levels of testosterone include [3]

  • PCOS hair loss
  • Constant fatigue 
  • Difficulty in maintaining or getting an erection 
  • Weak bones 
  • Development of breast tissue 
  • Fertility issues 

In cases of low levels of testosterone, doctors may prescribe patches, gels or injection to restore the hormonal levels in your body. The symptoms of high testosterone include

  • Deepening of your voice 
  • Acne and oily skin 
  • No periods  
  • Constant change in period cycle 
  • Baldness 
  • Loss of breast tissue 
  • Thicker body hair 

High levels of testosterone in females may indicate PCOS, PCOD or ovarian cancer in the extreme cases. Both high and low levels of testosterone are not good for your body and are key factors in identifying any underlying issue.

Additional Read: Types of Blood Test

The testosterone test can only give you a glimpse of the levels of testosterone at that particular point in time. Doctors may order more than one lab test to measure your testosterone and check how your levels are varying depending on other factors. One single test is not enough to diagnose any single underlying condition. If you suspect your testosterone levels to be too high or too low, consult with your doctor immediately to diagnose the problem. You can also book a doctor consultation on Bajaj Finserv Health to discuss the results of your testosterone test. Get an online consultation or in-clinic appointment with specialists nearby and take a healthy step forward!

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