What is Testosterone Levels Test
A testosterone test determines testosterone levels in the blood. Testosterone is the primary gender hormone in males. However, it is present in both genders. Regardless of gender, low or excessive testosterone levels can cause health concerns.
When the testosterone levels are within a certain range, the body performs normal functions. A testosterone level that is too low or too high, regardless of biological sex, might create health problems. If you have symptoms that suggest high or low testosterone, the doctor may prescribe a testosterone test.
Testosterone promotes hair growth and muscle growth during male puberty and is a voice changer. It regulates intercourse drive, preserves muscular mass, and aids in the production of sperm in adults. In females, testosterone is essential for bone and muscle growth and organ health.
Other names: total testosterone, bioavailable testosterone, serum testosterone, free testosterone
What are testosterone levels tested for?
A testosterone level test, in combination with another test, may be used to:
- Identify the cause of symptoms that could be caused by either too high or too low testosterone levels.
- To identify the cause of the issue in children and adolescents:
- Early puberty
- Delayed puberty
- Testosterone testing can also be used to keep track of your health if you:
- Have previously had an abnormal testosterone test
- Have already had an abnormal testosterone test
- Take testosterone as part of the masculinizing hormone therapy, transgender person (also called gender-affirming hormone therapy)
CD4 count is also used to:
- Track your ongoing medical treatment after an organ transplant: You will need to take medication if you've undergone an organ transplant to stop your immune system from fighting the new organ. Immunosuppressants or "anti-rejection" pharmaceuticals are the names given to these medications. These drugs may potentially be used to treat certain autoimmune illnesses. Low CD4 counts indicate that the treatment is effective.
- Aid in the diagnosis of various lymphoma forms: The sort of immune cells producing lymphoma can be identified using a CD4 count together with additional tests. The test findings aid in selecting the best course of action.
- Aid in identifying DiGeorge syndrome: This is a rare hereditary illness that frequently results in immunological issues and other disorders that manifest at birth.
Why do I need a testosterone level test?
If people show abnormal testosterone levels this test is needed:
The test is mostly used in men who have completed puberty to look for signs of low T levels (testosterone levels that are too low). With age, testosterone levels often decrease. Low T, however, can also be caused by other medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, chronic sickness, or testicular problems. Common symptoms could appear as follows:
The test is used on females who exhibit signs of elevated T levels, such as:
- Hair growth on the face or body that is abnormal
- A voice that gets lower
- Infertility (difficulty getting pregnant)
- Hair loss on the head that may be like male-pattern baldness (hair loss at the temples and balding on the top of the head)
- Irregular or no menstrual periods
What happens when testosterone levels are measured?
The best time to collect blood for a testosterone test is between 7 and 10 in the morning, and the testosterone levels are usually at their maximum at this time.
A small needle will be used by a medical professional to draw blood from a vein in the arm. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected in a test tube or vial. The needle may sting somewhat when it enters or exits the body, and usually, this only takes a few minutes.
How do I get ready for the test?
In some cases, individuals may be required to fast (not eat or drink) for many hours prior to the test. Inquire with the provider about how to prepare for a testosterone level test.
Are there any risks to the test?
A blood test poses relatively little risk. Individuals may experience pain or bruising where the needle was inserted, but most symptoms will resolve quickly.
What do the results mean?
The test results may indicate a range of things based on the test, the age, the symptoms, the results of additional tests, and any other conditions one may have. As a result, it is best to ask the provider to discuss the test results.
A testosterone level test cannot detect any health concerns on its own, but abnormal results combined with symptoms may indicate a problem.
In males, low T levels may be caused by:
In females, low T levels are normal, but severely low levels may indicate
- A pituitary gland disorder
- An adrenal gland disorder
- An ovarian disorder
In males, high T levels may be caused by:
In females, high T levels may be caused by:
- Ovarian cancer
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- A disorder of the pituitary gland
- An adrenal gland disorder
If the results are out of the normal, it does not automatically imply that you have a medical issue that requires treatment. It's normal for testosterone levels to fall as individuals become older. Additionally, certain medications can have an impact on the results. Talk with the healthcare provider if you have any questions regarding the outcomes.
Additional information about a testosterone levels test
Test-at-home kits for measuring testosterone levels are available without a prescription. The kits include everything you need to obtain a blood or saliva (spit) sample for testing at a lab. If you suspect you require testing, consult with the provider. If you conduct a home test, please share the results with the health provider.