What is a Testosterone Test?
Both men and women produce the hormone, testosterone. This test may be done at home if you have symptoms of abnormal male hormone (androgen) production. In males, the testicles produce most of the testosterone in the body. Levels are most often checked to evaluate signs of abnormal testosterone. Some situations where abnormal testosterone levels appear may include:
- during early or late puberty (in boys),
- erectile dysfunction,
- a low level of sexual interest,
- and thinning of the bones (in men).
Men at mid-life are just as susceptible to an age-related drop in hormone production as their female counterparts. Andropause, the so-called “male menopause,” signifies the retreat of the key male hormone testosterone. As a man ages, his body naturally makes less testosterone. In fact, by the time a man is in his mid-forties, testosterone levels can be down by 40%. Lifestyle factors such as excessive stress, weight gain and lack of exercise can lower levels even further – impacting stamina, drive and virility. Men tend to notice a subtle downward shift in strength and energy first, followed by lack of enthusiasm for life’s challenges like work and competition. A man may also lose interest in sexual activity altogether.
What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for the Test?
You don’t need any special preparations for an at home testosterone levels test.
Your health care provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before you have this test.
DO NOT stop or change your medicines without talking to your provider first.
What do the Results Mean?
Certain health conditions, medicines, or injury can lower testosterone. It also naturally drops with age.
Decreased total testosterone in men may be due to: chronic illness, problems with the pituitary gland (does not produce normal amounts of its hormones), low thyroid function, benign tumor of the pituitary cells that produce too much of the hormone prolactin, and too much body fat (obesity)
Increased total testosterone level may be due to: congenital adrenal hyperplasia, medications, or a tumor in the testicles or adrenal glands.
If your results are not normal, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have a medical condition needing treatment. Certain medicines, as well as alcoholism, can affect your results. If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.
Included: 1 Testosterone test kit, and a pre-addressed return envelope (Postage Paid)