Blood Test for Testosterone Levels
A testosterone level blood test is performed when there is a suspicion of Low T. Adults who have this simple procedure performed are typically doing so for any of the following reasons:
- Male or female infertility
- Reduced sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Symptoms associated with menopause
- Disorders of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus
- Testicular tumors
- Hirsutism – excessive facial and body hair in women
- Preexisting conditions of diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, dementia, or heart disease in association with symptoms of Low T, such as weight gain, muscle loss, hair loss, fatigue, reduced drive, decreased bone density, anemia, high cholesterol
The testosterone test will alert the physician to any problem associated with a decline in testosterone production. Because the symptoms of Low T can be easily confused with some other hormone deficiencies and medical conditions, a number of different blood panels, or markers, will be run at the same time.
By performing a comprehensive blood test for Low T, the doctor – typically a hormone replacement therapy specialist – will be able to ascertain precisely what is occurring in the body, and what type of treatment is required.
Are the Testosterone Tests Reliable?
The blood tests for low testosterone are reliable when they are done properly, and the individual follows all guidelines for the testing – such as fasting before the blood specimen is drawn. This is what helps provide an accurate reading.
One of the most important markers checked is the results of the testosterone total test. This will measure the amount of testosterone that is bound to proteins in the blood and that which is not bound. Bioavailable and free testosterone levels are also checked. The free levels are important because that is what helps with muscle tone, energy, memory and concentration, and of course sex drive and performance.
In addition to the blood test for low testosterone, the doctor will also check IGF-1 levels for growth hormone deficiency, thyroid functions, complete blood counts, cholesterol and triglycerides, and other crucial markers to ensure that an accurate reading and understanding of the person’s medical condition is determined.
What Is the Better Time for Testosterone Testing?
It is important to know when to test testosterone levels in order to get an accurate reading. The last thing anyone wants to do is to have to keep paying for the same procedure over and over because the appropriate guidelines were not followed and the results did not provide clear answers.
Testing for testosterone levels at the right time of day is crucial. Testosterone is at its highest point in the bloodstream between 7 and 9 am. Factors such as food, coffee, and juice can interfere with the readings, so fasting is a requirement from midnight of the night before the test until after the blood specimen has been drawn.
Do not eat or drink anything at all before the blood test for testosterone levels, and if any medications must be taken before the testing, discuss this with the hormone replacement specialist at the time the appointment is scheduled.
How to Prepare for the Test
Preparation to test your testosterone levels is easy. Other than the fasting previously mentioned, there is not much else to do except show up at the lab at the appointed time. The procedure itself takes only a few minutes, and since most labs have early morning hours beginning at 7 or 8 am, most people are on their way to work, the golf course, or breakfast in plenty of time to get the day started.
If you do not know where to get testosterone tested, do not worry, the HRT specialist will locate a lab near you and provide all of the information ahead of time. You may want to determine how much time it will take to get to the lab, as well as the best route ahead of time to ensure that you know where you are going and get there on schedule.
The testosterone test is a simple procedure that takes only a few minutes. For those who do have a fear of needles, it is recommended to turn one’s head while the blood sample is collected. The only thing that will be felt is a tiny prick when the needle pierces the skin. Discuss any concerns with the HRT specialist ahead of time, and again with the lab technician at the time of appointment.
Testosterone Testing Procedure
The procedure of testing testosterone levels is quite simple. An appointment will be preset in advance to help minimize wait time at the laboratory.
How do you get tested for low testosterone once you arrive at the lab?
After the technician calls your name and takes you into a private room or cubicle, this is what to expect:
- Both arms will be checked to locate the best vein – you can request a particular arm if the other will interfere with work.
- An elastic band will be tied around your upper arm to stop the blood flow.
- The site to be used will be cleaned with an alcohol prep swab.
- The needle will be inserted into the vein, and a tube will then be attached to the other end to collect the blood.
- Numerous tubes may be used as some types of tests require different colored tubes.
- The band will be removed from your arm.
- A piece of gauze will be placed over the needle site as the technician removes the needle. A bandage will be placed over the gauze. Keep this in place for a few hours.
Those are the easy steps to test for testosterone levels. Once done, the individual is then free to go about his or her day. All results will be forwarded to the hormone replacement specialist.
What Does the Testosterone Test Result Mean?
The meaning behind the testosterone blood test results is important to understand. Testosterone levels vary by gender and by age. By the time a man enters his thirties, his production of this powerful hormone will start to decrease. Weight, medications, and illness can cause a more rapid decline, as can lack of exercise, poor sleep, an unhealthy diet, and excessive stress. Women typically show a more pronounced decline as they enter menopause.
Part of the reason other markers are checked when testing total and free testosterone levels is to rule out possibilities such as testicular, ovarian, adrenal, or pituitary tumors, genetic diseases, prostate cancer, and thyroid issues.
Normal total testosterone level testing results for men should be between 270 and 1070 ng/dL although some medical professionals believe that symptoms associated with readings below 500 ng/dL in men could signal Low T that requires treatment. Women’s levels are much lower – 15 to 70 ng/dL, although, after menopause, it could be half this amount. That would also be an indicator for Low T symptoms.
Normal free testosterone levels for men are between 50 and 210 pg/mL, and for women 1.0 – 8.5 pg/mL.
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High free testosterone or total testosterone levels in men could be due to cancer or tumors in the testicles or adrenal glands. Women could have similar concerns in the ovaries or adrenals, as well as PCOS – polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Low free testosterone levels and total testosterone levels could be caused by many different factors, including aging, menopause, alcoholism, genetic diseases, cancer treatments, injury, illness, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
The HRT specialist will look at the entire realm of blood test results, the findings from a physical examination, as well as information provided by the client in a medical history report to determine what type of action must be taken if testosterone deficiency is diagnosed. It is not just the Low T test that provides an accurate answer as to what is going on in the body.
At National HRT, our doctors are hormone replacement experts who understand how to look at the bigger picture to determine the best course of action for each person. It treatment with testosterone replacement therapy is prescribed, we will provide all medications and have them shipped directly from a fully licensed US pharmacy.
Call us today for a free consultation to discover how to test your testosterone levels and get the answers you need to end the symptoms of Low T.