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Home Testosterone Testing Kits

Written by Author - Authors Medical experts of the National HRT Clinic - November 10, 2015

When a suspicion of Low T is present, some people try to find the most convenient method of finding out if they have this condition. There are individuals who attempt to circumvent the healthcare system by avoiding contacting a doctor and proceeding with self-diagnosis through do-at-home testosterone kits.

It is essential to understand all of the facts about an at home testosterone test kit before embarking down this path. Saliva testing is different from blood analysis, and the accuracy of this testing method is often questioned.

There are reasons why some people might choose this option of a home testosterone test kit, including:

  1. Fear or distrust of doctors
  2. Fear of needles – such as the ones used to collect a blood specimen for testing
  3. Convenience and time saving – no laboratory or doctor visits
  4. Affordability – assumption that mail-in saliva test kits might be less costly than blood work.

Conditions such as testosterone deficiency can be serious if left untreated, and they do require a doctor to accurately diagnose and treat them for a positive outcome without further risk of adverse side effects. A person using a home testosterone level test kit may not have a clear understanding of whether or not treatment for Low T is required.

What is a Testosterone Kit Used For?

The at home testosterone kit is used to detect lower levels of testosterone in saliva. Individuals who are concerned about this hormonal decline may have already noticed some of the following symptoms in his or her life:

  • Fatigue, lack of energy, and limited stamina
  • Decreased sex drive and difficulty with performance
  • Trouble with concentration, memory, cognitive skills, and learning
  • Hot flashes
  • Reduced lean muscle mass
  • Loss of body or head hair
  • Decreased bone density
  • Depression and other mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • High cholesterol
  • Previously diagnosed diabetes, heart disease, dementia, or osteoporosis – Low T is often seen when any of these medical conditions are present

A testosterone testing kit may seem like a simple alternative to going to the doctor and the lab in order to find out the state of one’s health, but the next section will show why it may not be the best option or idea.

Are the Home Tests Reliable?

Testosterone Therapy DoctorAt-home testing testosterone kits are not considered the most reliable way of diagnosing Low T. Some medical professionals feel there has not been enough study of these testing methods to determine their accuracy. Findings of some studies show that cotton and polypropylene collection devices used for saliva testing can vary the levels of testosterone significantly – providing false readings and results. Cotton can elevate levels while polypropylene can lower the findings.

One of the problems with saliva is that there are many variables that can affect the level of testosterone it may contain. Food and drink can interfere with accurate readings. Medications, collection of the sample, storage, shipping, and delays can also create false readings.

The saliva test only determines free testosterone. Blood testing is still required to determine the level of total testosterone that a person is producing. Both of these measures are crucial for diagnosing Low T in adults.

Laboratory Testing vs. Home Testing

Perhaps the most important reason to stick with laboratory testing over getting a home testosterone kit is the fact that a doctor will still require laboratory testing before any type of hormone treatment is prescribed. A person who receives results from a home test for testosterone levels will need to contact a doctor who specializes in hormone replacement therapy for diagnosis. This will still require blood testing for Low T and a number of other conditions.

The symptoms associated with Low T can also be indicative of other health concerns, and the specialist will need to rule out other such issues before authorizing any type of medication for use. Low testosterone levels must be validated before treatment can begin. This means that a person will have spent money needlessly on the home testing since the proper diagnostic lab tests must still be ordered and completed.

Another issue with the use of an at home testosterone testing kit is that normal results might keep someone from seeking medical help even if symptoms of Low T are present. There are times when contacting a doctor is crucial, and dealing with any type of hormonal imbalance is one of those situations that should not be ignored.

A testosterone test kit might seem like a good idea, in theory, but the guidance and knowledge of a trained health care practitioner are crucial at this time. Contact the medical professionals at National HRT to arrange for affordable blood analysis at a local laboratory. This will result in accurate results and a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Confidential, free consultations are provided.

Medically reviewed by   Reviewers National HRT Staff - Updated on November 21, 2023

Please note that the information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.