Testosterone Level Test / T Test / Testosterone Test
A testosterone level test measures the amount of testosterone in the blood and is reported as nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). It’s also known as a serum testosterone test.
Testosterone is an androgen, or a sex hormone, produced by both males and females. It plays a role in puberty and fertility. It also affects sexual desire. In males, the testes produce most of the testosterone. In females, the production of testosterone occurs mostly in the ovaries. Males have higher levels of testosterone than females. Doctors believe that testosterone has a significant influence on the development of many traits, including:
- increased muscle bulk
- higher bone mass
- physical strength
- body hair
However, the hormone plays an important role in women as well, including their reproductive health and the ability to feel sexual arousal.
Why do Testosterone Test?
Your doctor may refer to this test for a variety of reasons;
Testosterone in Males
One common reason to order this test is either early or delayed puberty. The test may also be necessary if your doctor suspects you may have low hormone levels. A low level of testosterone in a male is also known as hypogonadism.
The symptoms of hypogonadism in a male include:
- decreased body hair
- decreased muscle mass
- a low sex drive
- erectile dysfunction
- the growth of breast tissue, or gynecomastia
Some other possible causes of having low testosterone include:
- delayed puberty
- testicular damage, which can be caused by trauma, alcoholism, or the mumps
- a hypothalamic disease
- a pituitary disease
- a noncancerous pituitary tumour
A number of genetic diseases can also affect testosterone levels, including Klinefelter’s syndrome, Kallmann’s syndrome, and myotonic dystrophy.
It’s also possible for a male to have too much testosterone. High testosterone levels can be problematic. Too much of this hormone can be the result of:
- early, or precocious, puberty
- hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid
- anabolic steroids
- congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- androgen insensitivity syndrome
- a testicular tumour
- an adrenal tumour
Testosterone in Females
Your doctor will rarely refer testosterone level tests if you’re a female and usually refer if they suspect you have a high level of this hormone. Too much testosterone in a female can lead to:
- irregular or absent menstrual periods
- the development of facial and body hair
- a deepened voice
There are several reasons a female may have too much testosterone, including:
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
- congenital adrenocortical hyperplasia
- ovarian cancer or a tumour
- an adrenal tumour
Testosterone Test Preparations
Certain drugs can affect your testosterone levels and change the results of a testosterone test. It’s important to inform your doctor about all medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Your doctor may ask you to stop certain drugs before your test.
Medications that may affect this test include:
- androgen therapy
- estrogen therapy
Your doctor may specify you a time of day for your test. Because hormone levels are highest in the morning, you may need to take this test between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Your doctor may also ask you to have repeat testing, which can track hormone changes throughout the day.
Read About: Estradiol Test
Normal Testosterone levels
It’s normal for you to have changed to your level of testosterone throughout your life. The normal level of testosterone for your age and sex is as follows;
|6 months-9 years||<7-20||<7-20|
|19 years and up||240-950||8-60|
Testosterone levels can decrease naturally due to your age or other health conditions. After the age of 40, men’s testosterone levels usually decrease at least 1 percent every year. Some symptoms of low testosterone, particularly erectile dysfunction, are commonly seen in men over 40. Low testosterone levels have often been observed in people with obesity, no matter their age.
The most common testosterone-related problem in men is hypogonadism, also called low testosterone. Your testosterone level may be abnormally low if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- decreased sex drive
- inability to achieve an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- inability to conceive a child
- overall tiredness
Women with too much testosterone may grow facial hair, develop a deeper voice, or experience decreased breast size. Too much testosterone in women can also cause acne. Too much testosterone in women can be the result of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can make it difficult to get pregnant and interfere with menstruation.
Abnormally high or low levels of testosterone in men and women can indicate other serious conditions. High testosterone levels can indicate ovarian or testicular cancer. Low testosterone levels can indicate chronic illness or a problem with the pituitary gland, which releases hormones.
In infant boys and girls, signs of abnormal testosterone levels may be more extreme. Testosterone tests are often ordered for boys and girls who aren’t developing properly or when parents notice delayed puberty in both boys and girls. Boys with low testosterone may grow slowly, with no body hair and poorly developed muscles. Girls with high testosterone may have delayed menstruation or too much body hair. Boys with high testosterone may enter puberty early and robustly.
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