This test is ideal if you are wanting to check your testosterone levels, as you may have common symptoms such as low sex drive, fatigue, low mood, irritability or loss of muscular strength.
Blood Testing for Testosterone
Testosterone is known as the male hormone and is usually connected with masculinity; however, women also produce testosterone. For a woman, having too much or too little testosterone can impact them as much as the same condition in a man. Testosterone levels can also cause issues to arise in boys around the time of puberty. To test the blood for testosterone, our blood testing looks for hormone levels in both men and women.
What is a testosterone blood test?
For women, testosterone can play an important role in the reproductive system and their menstrual cycle. In men, testosterone is the main sex hormone. Controlling the adult male’s sex drive, it is also responsible for protecting muscle mass and it helps in the production of sperm. During male puberty, it is testosterone that kick starts the growth of body hair, muscle development and deepens the voice.
There are two types of testosterones in the body. Testosterone in your blood is mostly attached to proteins. The testosterone that is not attached to proteins in the blood is called free testosterone. A total testosterone test measures both the attached and free testosterone, while a free testosterone blood test measures only the levels of free testosterone.
What could a testosterone blood test show?
In men, a testosterone level blood test can be used to look for erectile dysfunction and testicular tumors. It can identify either early or delayed puberty in boys. In women, a testosterone blood test can support diagnosis of irregular menstruation, alongside excess growth in body hair or the development of masculine features in women. For both men and women, testosterone blood testing can help identify decreased sex drive and infertility.
Men tend to need a testosterone blood test if they are experiencing the symptoms of low levels of testosterone. These can include fertility issues, hair loss, weak bones or loss of muscle mass, low sex drive (libido), erectile dysfunction or the development of breast tissue.
Women may need a testosterone blood test if they are experiencing the symptoms of high levels of testosterone. These can include a deepening of the voice, irregularities around menstruation, acne, weight gain or excess growth of body and facial hair.
In boys, low testosterone can be an indication of delayed puberty, while higher levels of testosterone are associated with early puberty.
What Can Testosterone Blood Test Results show
Raised levels of testosterone may indicate an underlying health issue with the testicles or the adrenal glands, which are situated above the kidneys and help control heart rate and blood pressure among other bodily functions. Lower levels of testosterone could indicate genetic disease, a chronic disease or maybe an issue with the pituitary gland, the small organ that sits at the base of the brain and controls certain functions, such as growth and fertility.
High levels of testosterone can be an indication of the hormone disorder, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can make it hard to get pregnant and interfere with menstruation. Excess testosterone could also indicate cancer of the ovaries or adrenal glands. Reduced testosterone levels are more normal but could also be an indication of the disorder of the pituitary gland, Addison disease.
Raised levels of testosterone could indicate cancer in the testicles or adrenal glands, while reduced levels of testosterone can reveal an issue with the testicles.
Lifestyle and testosterone
Your GP or health professional will work with you to treat abnormal levels of testosterone. A common treatment for low testosterone is testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). This can be given as an injection, a topical gel for the skin that puts testosterone directly into your skin or a hormone patch. You may also be encouraged to make lifestyle changes to help balance testosterone levels, such as building muscle or healthy weight loss.