What is Testosterone?
In short, testosterone is the main sex hormone in males. During a boy’s puberty, testosterone causes the growth of body hair, muscle development, and deepening of the voice to name a few symptoms. In adult men, it controls sex drive, maintains muscle mass, and helps to make sperm. Women also have testosterone in their bodies, but in much smaller amounts.
What is a Testosterone Level Test?
This test measures the levels of testosterone in your blood. Most of the testosterone in the blood is attached to proteins. Testosterone that is not attached to a protein is called free testosterone.
There are two main types of testosterone tests:
- Total testosterone, which measures both attached and free testosterone.
- Free testosterone, which measures just free testosterone. Free testosterone can give more information about certain medical conditions.
Testosterone levels that are too low (low T) or too high (high T) can cause health problems in both men and women of all ages.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone in men include
- Low sex drive
- Impotence or difficulty getting an erection
- Development of breast tissue
- Reproduction or fertility problems
- Hair loss
- Loss of muscle mass
Low testosterone levels in men are normal, but extremely low levels may indicate Addison Disease, a disorder of the pituitary gland
Symptoms of High Testosterone in men include
- Aggressive behavior
- Excessive body hair
- Heart or liver problems
- High blood pressure
- High sex drive
- Increased appetite
Hight testosterone levels in men can mean a tumor in the testicles or adrenal glands. Adrenal glands help to control the heart rate, blood pressure, and other bodily functions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Men who are diagnosed with low T levels may benefit from testosterone supplements, as prescribed by their health care provider. Testosterone supplements are not recommended for men with normal T levels. There is no proof they provide any benefits, and in fact they may be harmful to healthy men.
Yes, women have testosterone but in much smaller quantities.
You do not need any preparations for a testosterone test