The Blood Test Itself
Doctors recommend that a testosterone blood test is best taken in the early morning, between 7 and 10am.
This is because the hormone levels are generally at their highest in the hours immediately after waking.
Blood is taken from a vein in your arm.
The sample is sent to the lab for testing, results take a few days to be returned to your doctor
Measure Your Body Fat
Men with higher amounts of body fatfrequently report lower testosterone levels and associated symptoms, owing tothe fact that the conversion of testosterone into estradiol increasessignificantly, as referenced by a study published in the Asian Journal ofAndrology in 2014.
Much of the production of this femalehormone occurs in fat cells where the highest density of the aromatase enzymeis present. In effect, fat cells are considered estrogen factories notbeneficial to your androgen profile.
Low Testosterone At A Glance
- Production of testosterone, a hormone affecting emotion and appearance, ramps up during puberty and starts to gradually decline as men age.
- A lower than normal level of testosterone, however, can cause a variety of symptoms including a lower sex drive, sleep loss, hair loss, mood changes and an increase in body fat.
- A urologist can conduct a blood test to determine if/when testosterone falls below the normal levels circulating in the body.
- If low testosterone is diagnosed, a doctor may recommend testosterone replacement therapy to boost the levels of testosterone.
- Treatment may relieve symptoms and help keep bones and muscles strong however, there is no cure for low testosterone.
- Men should not take testosterone if not recommend and directed by a physician.
How To Test Testosterone Levels
You can check testosterone levels with an at-home test or at a clinic. The Everlywell at-home test uses a saliva sample that you collect in the morning by spitting in a tube that comes with the kit. You then mail the sample to a lab and get your results online. Testosterone testing at a clinic usually involves a blood test in which blood is drawn from a vein in your arm .
Are Your Levels Lower Than Youd Like
Do you have lower testosterone levels than youd like to have?
Dont worry there are a number of things you can do to increase the natural testosterone production in your body.
The most effective way is taking in an all natural testosterone booster that contains ingredients scientifically proven to support and increase testosterone production. Top 3 recommended testosterone boosters
- You will build more muscle mass
- You will maintain your muscle mass better
- You will get leaner and more cut
- Your sex drive will increase as well as harder erections
- better mood and your confidence will increase
Many bodybuilders and athletes take in testosterone boosters due to their incredible benefits on performance.
Just make sure you go with a product that contains scientifically proven ingredients. See the best 3 testosterone boosters here.
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What Are Normal Male Testosterone Levels
Testosterone deficiency is a growing epidemic. Mens testosterone levels have dropped 20% in the last 20 years and more and more younger men are suffering the effects of low testosterone. Just look around today and you will see the results of this more and more frequently.
Many do not know any different and have lead lives of depression and anxiety, struggling from day to day I would know, this used to be me.
So whats happened and why isnt this seen as a bigger issue?
Total Vs Free Testosterone
There are two main types of testosterone in the blood.
- Bound testosterone. Testosterone bound to either albumin or the carrier protein SHBG, or sex hormone binding globulin. This testosterone is bound so tightly to SHBG that it cant be separated and used by the body. It accounts for about 98% of testosterone in the blood.
- Free testosterone. The amount of testosterone circulating freely in your blood. Its also available to testosterone-using cells and makes up about 2% of testosterone in the blood.
Healthcare providers may test for both types of testosterone because the relative proportions of total bound and free testosterone can be different in certain health conditions.
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Testosterone Deficiency Screening Details
Testosterone level testing is done with a simple finger-stick blood test. Your results letter will indicate your level of testosterone in nanograms per deciliter of blood, and will indicate if your level is abnormal low, normal, or abnormal high. The normal range is 193-836 ng/dL. The results letter will also direct you to seek follow-up screening with your doctor, if necessary. Testosterone levels in the blood can vary significantly, even on the same day, and testosterone production begins to decline in men around the age of 30.2 Low testosterone screening may not indicate that any treatment is necessary, even if the results are lower than normal.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Certain health conditions, medicines, or injury can lead to low testosterone . Testosterone level also naturally drops with age. Low testosterone can affect sex drive, mood, and the body in men.
- Chronic illness
- The pituitary gland does not produce normal amounts of some or all of its hormones
- Problem with areas of the brain that control hormones
- Low thyroid function
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How Is Testosterone Related To Polycystic Ovary Syndrome In Women
Polycystic ovary syndrome is associated with high levels of testosterone in women. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, experience a hormone imbalance. PCOS affects up to 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 44. Symptoms of PCOS and of a high testosterone level in a woman can include irregular menstrual periods, abnormal amounts of hair on the face or chin, acne, hair loss and male-pattern baldness, weight gain, and more.
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Why Do I Need A Testosterone Levels Test
You may need this test if you have symptoms of abnormal testosterone levels. For adult men, it’s mostly ordered if there are symptoms of low T levels. For women, it’s mostly ordered if there are symptoms of high T levels.
Symptoms of low T levels in men include:
- Low sex drive
Symptoms of high T levels in women include:
- Excess body and facial hair growth
- Deepening of voice
- Weight gain
Boys may also need a testosterone levels test. In boys, delayed puberty can be a symptom of low T , while early puberty may be a symptom of high T.
How Do We Test For Testosterone Levels
If your doctor suspects that you have low testosterone, he or she will most likely run a blood test that tests for your total testosterone. The normal testosterone ranges mentioned above are based on your total testosterone level. Most of the testosterone in your bloodstream is what is known as bound testosterone, and a smaller percentage exists in the blood stream as free testosterone. Total testosterone refers to all of the testosterone in your blood at a given time.
The following chart illustrates the normal total testosterone levels for men and women by Tanner Stage and age. The Tanner Scale breaks down the observable signs of puberty into 5 stages, running from Stage I from about age 10 to Stage V at 15 for boys, and about age 8 to 15 for girls.
|> 49 y: 341|
By way of comparison, the following chart gives the so-called normal testosterone levels by another quality testing lab Quest Diagnostics. Quest does not use the Tanner Scale, but rather indicates the normal ranges for males and females by age.
However, by comparing to the chart above, you can see how the normal ranges differ.
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What Does The Testosterone Test Measure
Testosterone travels through your blood in two ways:
- Attached to the proteins albumin and sex hormone binding globulin
- Free — not attached to any proteins
Usually you’ll get a total testosterone test as a screening test. This measures both free and attached testosterone. To diagnose certain conditions, doctors sometimes look only at free testosterone levels.
In males, the testosterone test can help find the reason for sexual problems, like reduced sex drive or erectile dysfunction. If youâre having a hard time getting your partner pregnant, the test can tell if your blood testosterone level is low. A low testosterone level can also mean a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, which controls how much testosterone your body makes.
In females, this test can find the reason youâre missing periods, not having periods, having a hard time getting pregnant or experiencing male patterns of hair growth such as on your chest or face. Doctors can also use it to help diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome , which causes elevated testosterone. Thatâs a hormone problem that can cause irregular periods and make it hard to get pregnant. Testosterone testing is part of the work-up of certain adrenal tumors.
What Is Testosterone
Testosterone is a sex hormone found in both men and women. While both men and women have the hormone, men produce higher quantities of testosterone than women do. In men, testosterone is produced in the testicles, and is responsible for the development of male sexual characteristics and other processes in the male body. In women, testosterone is produced primarily in the ovaries, and plays an important part in womens fertility and the overall health of women. Given the varying levels of testosterone in men and women, high or low levels of testosterone can present themselves differently in men and women. Men are much more likely to suffer from low testosterone than from high testosterone. Low testosterone is also much more common in men as they age. In fact, in a study on low testosterone, it was found that up to 39% of males over the age of 45 may suffer from low testosterone. Some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone for men include low energy levels, infertility, and low muscle mass, among other symptoms. In women, high testosterone is highly prevalent in premenopausal women suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome , a common disease that affects one in ten women of childbearing age. Some common symptoms of PCOS include irregular menstruation, acne, and weight gain, among other symptoms.
How Do You Train
One of the best ways to boost testosterone levels is to perform heavy resistance training.
The more physically demanding the better which makes sense given that men who perform no physical activity really dont require testosterone.
While any kind of exercise is good for you, the type of training you do makes a difference.
If you lift heavy weights and do high intensity cardio then you are more likely to have high t-levels.
However, if you do a lot of endurance training your testosterone levels are more likely to be low.
Remember this wont give you an exact figure, but if you havent done a bench press in years you probably fall into the low-testosterone category.
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Too Much T: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
Sometimes, too much T is the result of a condition known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia . This testosterone overload can result in males having an abnormally large penis and females having abnormal genitalia at birth.
In some cases, CAH can cause men to have a very deep voice and women to grow facial hair.
CAH can be diagnosed early in infants because it causes dehydration, poor feeding habits, and other symptoms. It can also cause stunted growth, even though someone with this condition may be tall when theyre young.
Free Testosterone Levels In Women Chart
Free testosterone is important to understand because this is the amount of the hormone available immediately for the bodys use. Once testosterone is released into the bloodstream, it attaches to one of two substances:
When testosterone is bound to SHBG, it is not able to join with its receptor cells in the bodys tissues. It must first detach itself from the SHBG to be considered free and available for use. The albumin-bound testosterone connection is weak, so it easily dissociates in the capillary bed and is readily available for use and uptake by the tissues.
Normal female free testosterone levels can be found in the chart below:
|Normal Free Testosterone Levels|
|Over 1.0 pg/mL|
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How Is Testosterone Measured
Testosterone is usually measured through a capillary blood test at home or taken by a doctor, phlebotomist or nurse from a vein.
The test is taken at around 9am due to the release time of testosterone in the body . This is the time when testosterone blood levels are at their highest.
This serum blood test is then analysed in a laboratory and different hormones are reported on. These come back on a form with the male testosterone levels attached .
These are my test results from before starting TRT. As you can see I had normal total and low free testosterone levels. This is despite having several symptoms of low testosterone.
If Id visited your average GP I would have undoubtedly been told that I was just depressed and anxious.
I had insomnia, couldnt think straight, had trouble with simple arithmetic, was losing the muscle and strength I had trained the past 10 years for, I was grumpy and lethargic and I had anxiety the whole time my life was a mess.
You may be asking, what do these values all mean?. The important ones to understand now are the total testosterone and free testosterone levels.
Total testosterone can be an indicator of low levels of testosterone. However, the Endocrine Society have rightly indicated that many men have normal total testosterone levels but very low free and/or bioavailable testosterone levels. If this is the case then a man may have all of the symptoms of low testosterone but show as normal on a total testosterone test.
How To Test Testosterone Levels At Home
Hereâs how to check testosterone levels at home with the Everlywell Testosterone Test:
Once the testosterone test kit arrives, youâll wait until morning to collect your saliva sample. This is because salivary testosterone levels fall throughout the day , so the saliva sample needs to be collected within 30 minutes of waking.
To collect your sample, youâll simply spit into a tube that comes with the kit. Then youâll use a prepaid shipping label â also included with the kit â to send the sample to a lab for analysis.
Once the lab has analyzed your sample, you can view your test results on our secure, online portal.
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Im Currently Undergoing Treatment When Will My Levels Be Checked
Like most chronic conditions, low testosterone is an ongoing issue thats treated over the short, medium, and long-term. In order to keep you in the loop and adjust treatment accordingly, your hormone doctor will schedule regular check-ups.
These check-ups are usually held every 3 months to start, though may become more spread out over time as signs and symptoms subside, and your health improves.
Low Levels Of Testosterone In Women
Testosterone is produced by the ovaries and the adrenal glands in females, where it is then released into the bloodstream. Low testosterone levels in women may occur during primary or secondary ovarian failure. Oophorectomy may bring a significant decrease in testosterone levels.
According to some reports, menopause typically brings a decline in the production of testosterone. Since this hormone provides a woman with sexual desire, it is understandable that her libido would begin to fall in response. Decreased vaginal lubrication is also responsible for changing desires in terms of intimacy and sexuality. Intercourse may become painful and unenjoyable during this time.
When experiencing a decline in testosterone levels, women often suffer from many of the same symptoms as men with Low T, including:
- Weight gain
- Loss of lean body mass
- Reduced strength
- Difficulty with focus and concentration
- Low libido
- Hot flashes
Treatment with testosterone cream has shown exceedingly beneficial for women dealing with the symptoms associated with Low T.
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Avoid Drugs And Alcohol
The last piece of advice on our list to help you boost your testosterone is an important one. If you want to know how to increase testosterone the natural way, you’ve got to be prepared to make healthy lifestyle changes. A considerable part of those changes is avoiding drugs and alcohol.
Effects of Alcohol Use on Testosterone
While moderate alcohol consumption won’t cause any long-term drops in your testosterone levels, over-consumption and heavy drinking can have harmful effects. For men, over-consumption is more than 15 drinks each week.
Alcohol consumption, even in moderation, does cause short-term effects on your testosterone levels. Studies have shown that your testosterone level can drop as quickly as 30 minutes after your first drink. It can also cause poor sperm quality and a low sperm count, and no man wants that.
Effects of Drug Use on Testosterone
Drugs can also cause low testosterone levels in men. For example, chronic opiate dependence can cause hypogonadism. Men with hypogonadism suffer from low levels of testosterone and a decrease in their sex drive and energy, as well as depression.