A testosterone test is a blood test used to check the hormone testosterone level in a person. Having healthy testosterone levels is key for a man to feel his best in all aspects of his life. Keep reading to find out more about checking for testosterone levels, as well as what the cost of this test is.
What is Testosterone
While testosterone is a male hormone, it is also present in women. That said, it is found in much more significant quantities in men as it is produced in the testes. Testosterone is responsible for a number of vital functions in men, such as brain function and alertness to muscle maintenance.
When a man reaches puberty, changes such as a deeper voice, growth of body and facial hair, and muscle growth are all due to testosterone. Perhaps the most important function of testosterone for men is the fact that it is needed for the production of sperm and is hence important for fertility.
This hormone is also important for women, as it maintains bone mass. Testosterone is also essential for the maintenance of the female reproductive organs. High testosterone levels in women are less than ideal, as they can lead to the development of facial hair and can cause infertility in women.
When to get a Testosterone Level Check
Since we now know how many essential functions testosterone has, it’s important to know when it’s time to get your levels checked. If you’ve been feeling sluggish and are having trouble trying to concentrate, your testosterone levels might be lower than the optimal level. Also, a tell-tale sign of low testosterone is if you’re having trouble trying to conceive.
Some of the other symptoms of low testosterone levels are:
- Symptoms of depression
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor memory and loss of focus
- Loss of body hair
- Loss of facial hair
Types of Testosterone Tests
There are different types of testosterone present in your bloodstream. Hence, the tests for these different types are also different. Most of the testosterone present in your bloodstream is attached to proteins. This is needed as it prevents the tissues present in your body from using testosterone right away.
Testosterone that is not attached to proteins roams your bloodstream and is hence called free testosterone. The testosterone test taken depends on what the concern is.
A total testosterone test measures both the free testosterone present in your bloodstream, as well as the testosterone attached to proteins.
A free testosterone test measures only the testosterone that is not attached to the protein
A bioavailable testosterone test measures both the free testosterone as well as the testosterone that is loosely attached to a blood protein known as albumin.
It is important to check what the free testosterone levels in your blood are, as it is possible to have average total testosterone concentration results but low free testosterone levels. This will lead to you having all the symptoms of low testosterone.
What Happens During a Testosterone Level Test?
For a testosterone test, no matter what the type is, the procedure is very simple and quick. Typically, a blood sample will be drawn from the patient between 7 and 10 pm.
During this time period, the concentration of testosterone in your blood is at its highest. You will likely feel a bit of pain during this time, but as the sample required is typically small, you won’t be kept waiting for long. The whole test process will take less than 5 minutes.
How to Prepare for a Testosterone Level Test
Whether or not you should fast before a testosterone level test is not agreed upon by medical professionals. While some healthcare providers necessitate patients to fast before a testosterone test, others do not think it is necessary.
Your doctor will likely inform you beforehand whether or not they require you to fast.
What do Testosterone Level Results Mean?
Low Testosterone Levels
Low testosterone levels in men can be caused by chronic diseases, particularly those affecting the liver or kidneys. It may also point toward a testicular injury. Low testosterone levels in men can also be caused by chromosomal conditions such as Klinefelters syndrome.
It is perfectly normal for a woman to have low testosterone levels. That said, having extremely low testosterone levels can have an adverse impact on a woman’s health. The two most common reasons why a woman may have unusually low testosterone levels is ovarian disorders or adrenal gland disorders.
High Testosterone Levels
Extremely high testosterone levels in men are most often caused by the use of steroids. Other common culprits are testicular tumors and adrenal gland disorders.
Another major cause of high testosterone levels in women is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Besides this, ovarian cancer may also be to blame for increased testosterone levels.
How Much Does a Testosterone Test Cost
The cost of a testosterone level test can vary greatly depending on what test you’re choosing, as well as who your healthcare provider is. Prices can range from anywhere between $70 and several hundred dollars.
Insurance generally covers the cost of testosterone level testing, but this is a mixed bag as some insurers do not cover testosterone testing. If you’re trying to save a buck, a good choice is to opt for an online doctor consultation following your testosterone test. This will be substantially cheaper than an in-person consultation.
Checking what your testosterone levels are and taking appropriate action to correct any abnormalities is crucial for the health and wellbeing of a man. It’s best to know early whether or not you have abnormal testosterone levels, which necessitates this test for those who are showing symptoms. Tests and lab work can take a toll on your wallet pretty quickly, but luckily Cura4U offers whopping discounts on all diagnostic tests through Cura Labs. Head on over to book your test today!