How Does a Testosterone Test Work?
You need healthy levels of testosterone to perform at your best. To make sure you have healthy levels, here’s how a testosterone test works.
Some people underestimate the importance of testosterone when they’re aiming for their best possible performance. But there are many ways that testosterone can impact your daily life.
Both men and women need testosterone in order to function normally. But when you have too much or too little testosterone, you’ll usually notice some negative side effects.
Luckily, you can determine whether your testosterone levels are normal with a simple testosterone test. Read on to learn how this test works.
Signs You May Need a Testosterone Test
It can be difficult to know whether certain symptoms are due to a testosterone imbalance or another health issue.
Here are some signs you may need a testosterone test:
- Sweet or fragrance-free sweat (The more pungent and bitter your sweat, the more testosterone you’ll usually be producing)
- Low libido
- Depressed mood
- Erectile dysfunction
- Thin bones
- Low energy
- High body fat percentage (even while continually strength training)
- Changes in your cholesterol levels
- Decrease in body hair
- Growth of breast tissue
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Blood sugar swings and food cravings
- Low libido or suddenly high sex drive
- Excessive body hair growth
- Increased acne
- Deeper voice
- Irritableness or aggressiveness
- Excessive muscle gain
One of the most common reasons for high testosterone levels in women is Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). It affects between 5 and 10% of American women between the ages of 18 and 44.
Preparing for a Testosterone Test
Before getting your testosterone levels tested, consider the types of medications you’re taking. Some drugs can affect how much testosterone you have, and that can impact the results of your test.
Some medications which can affect your testosterone test include:
- Estrogen therapy
- Androgen therapy
Testing your Testosterone at Home
You can easily order a home testosterone test kit online. There are two main options:
This is an easy test, and you simply need to order a kit. Once you receive it, you’ll spit onto the test and then send it to the address you’re given. They’ll send you back your results as soon as it has been processed.
They’ll send you back your results as soon as it has been processed.
Blood tests are more accurate than saliva tests. They are a good way to get an idea of where your testosterone levels are, and if you have any concerns you can then make an appointment with the doctor to get tested again and discuss your options.
They’re also a good way to get an idea of where your testosterone levels are. If you have any concerns you can then make an appointment with the doctor to get tested again and discuss your options.
There are a number of blood spot test kits on the market. You simply prick your finger for a little blood and then send it back the same way as the saliva tests.
Testing your Testosterone at the Doctor
If you notice that your testosterone is either too high or too low, you should make an appointment to get it checked. Doctors will usually be able to give you more accurate results and can discuss potential treatments with you.
They’ll take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory. They doctor will then call you or ask you to make an appointment to discuss your results.
What are Normal Testosterone Levels?
Our levels of testosterone change throughout our lives. For women, they’re impacted by pregnancy, menstruation, and age. For men, they’re impacted by age, weight, puberty, and underlying health conditions.
Here are the normal testosterone levels based on age and sex:
15-16 years: Male- 100-1200 Female- 7-75
17-18 years: Male- 300-1200 Female- 20-75
19+ years: Male- 240-950 Female- 8-60
After men turn 40, testosterone levels decrease by approximately 1% each year.
What if My Testosterone is Not Normal?
If your test results show that your testosterone is outside the normal range, you have plenty of options to try.
There are a number of natural ways that you can boost your testosterone levels, including:
- Intermittent fasting
- Increased magnesium
- Lifting weights
- Losing weight
- Taking creatine and caffeine when training
- Eating enough protein
- Minimizing stress and cortisol
- Increasing vitamin D intake
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Avoid excess alcohol use
Even if your lower testosterone levels are due to aging, this can also be turned around.
While men in western countries gradually lose testosterone each year, this isn’t shown in countries where men remain active well into their old age. That shows that it is possible to keep testosterone levels high throughout your life.
Testosterone Replacement Therapy
While millions of men are affected by low testosterone, only 5% are receiving treatment.
Testosterone replacement therapy can help with many of the symptoms of low testosterone, including:
- Improved muscle mass
- Better bone density
- Improved mood
- Higher libido
- Improved red blood cell production
There are many different ways you can receive testosterone replacement therapy. These range from a shot every few weeks to a topical gel.
The shot can be inconvenient and can cause a rollercoaster effect. Levels will peak right after the shot and then decrease right back to the baseline before your next shot.
The topical gel is rubbed on your upper arms or shoulders each day and has an absorption rate of approximately 80-85%.
There are also pills available, however, this is discouraged due to the negative impact on the liver.
While testosterone replacement therapy can be a great choice, it can also have unwanted side effects. For this reason, it’s a good idea to try and increase your levels naturally first or try the man diet.
The problem with testosterone replacement therapy is that you’re looking for an outside source to replace your testosterone. While this is fine as a last resort, the best choice is to encourage your body to naturally begin making more testosterone by itself.
If you’ve performed a testosterone test and discovered that you’re not within the ideal levels, it’s not the end of the world. Luckily, there are plenty of steps you can take to change your testosterone levels.
For women, certain types of birth control can help you get control of your testosterone.
And for men, there are many ways you can increase testosterone- ranging from natural options to replacement therapy.
Have you noticed a decrease in your testosterone levels? Or maybe you’re thinking about getting a testosterone test? Let me know in the comments below.