How do you test for low testosterone levels?
Low testosterone is a problem that no man wants to experience.
And yet, doctors are now saying that 1 out of every 4 men over the age of 30 has low testosterone – though only 1 out of 20 will tend to show actual clinical symptoms of the problem.
For a lot of men, these odds are simply too high. Low T can cause a number of different problems, including fatigue, weakness, depression, and a drop in libido. It can also make it more difficult for men to get gains in strength or muscle mass at the gym.
To put it lightly, nobody wants to have low testosterone problems – which is why many men decide to go to the doctor to get it tested at some point in their lives. Some men wait until they experience symptoms, while some do it as a routine measure. A doctor might also order the test if he/she feels that low or high testosterone could be a possibility in the patient.
But what does it entail? Is it complicated or painful? Is it invasive?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is a testosterone test?
To put it simply, a testosterone level test is simply a blood-draw test that measures the amount of testosterone in the blood. The test measures the testosterone and reports the levels as a number of nanograms per deciliter, or ng/dL. This type of test is also known as a serum testosterone test.
The test is normally conducted in the morning, as T levels tend to be higher during this time of the day. The actual blood draw will involve you getting poked with a needle to draw blood from a vein in your arm. If you end up with low T results, the doctor may schedule a follow up test on a different day, just to confirm that low T is indeed a consistent problem.
What are normal T levels supposed to be?
According to a graph that was published on healthline.com, the average male adult is supposed to have a testosterone reading of somewhere between 270 and 1,070 ng/dL. The average adult female is supposed to have much, much less… somewhere between 15 and 70 ng/dL.
Sometimes, doctors will order other tests to be taken along with the testosterone level test, just to rule out problems caused by other hormones. Some of these may include a Follicle-stimulating hormone test, a luteinizing hormone test, a thyroid stimulating hormone test, or others. In some cases, doctors might also order a biopsy of the testicles, imaging tests, a semen analysis, or even tests of the pituitary gland – depending upon the situation and the problem.
Is the test dangerous?
A normal blood draw testosterone level test is said to come with a risk for the following complications…
- A stinging sensation/pain
As a general rule, the test is very easy to do and isn’t very risky. You don’t really need to prepare for it in any way. You should, however, make sure that your doctor knows about any medicines, vitamins, herbs, supplements, or drugs that you might be taking.
Talking to your doctor
If you fear that you might be experiencing the effects of low testosterone, then it may be worthwhile to visit your doctor. Be open and honest with him/her about what the problems are, and don’t be embarrassed to talk about your concerns regarding low testosterone.
There are a lot of ways in which such a condition can be treated, so don’t feel like you have no options or hope for dealing with it. The beginning of getting the problem figured out is figuring out what the problem is – and one of the best ways to do this is by visiting your doctor and having an intentional discussion about the problem.
You may just need to make some simple lifestyle changes to help raise testosterone levels. It could be as simple as changing your sleeping schedule, dietary habits, and exercise routine.