- You can test testosterone levels at home with an at-home testosterone test kit.
- Home testosterone tests measure the free testosterone level in your saliva.
- Some home tests may require you to send in blood samples.
- If you have erectile dysfunction or symptoms of hypogonadism (low T), you can test your testosterone levels without having to see a doctor.
Can you test testosterone levels at home? The answer is yes, but there are things you should know before ordering a test. If you suspect something might be wrong with your hormones, affordable home testing might make sense for you. Here, we’ll discuss how home test kits work, their accuracy rates, and when men should consider testing their T levels.
How to Test Testosterone Levels at Home
If you’re curious about your testosterone levels but don’t want to go to a clinic, you can order an at-home testosterone test kit. Some of these tests require a blood sample; others use a saliva specimen.
The testing kit will include all the tools you need to collect your sample. Read the instructions that come with your test kit carefully. The accuracy of your results is determined by how you collect your sample.
With your sample secured according to the instructions, complete the forms that come with the kit, and mail everything in the envelope provided. Shipping should be free both ways. The lab will securely post your results online in a matter of days.
What Does a Testosterone Test Measure?
This will vary depending on the type of kit you used, blood or saliva.
If you send in a blood sample, the lab will measure total testosterone. In your blood, testosterone is present in two forms:
- Attached, or bound, testosterone. Some of your testosterone attaches itself to various proteins in your body, such as albumin and the sex hormone-binding globulin. The two make up the majority of your testosterone.
- Free testosterone. Some of your testosterone floats in your blood freely, without attaching itself to proteins. This is your free testosterone. Free testosterone only makes up between 0.5 and 3 percent of your total testosterone, but this is your bioavailable testosterone, the hormone that’s available for your body to use.
By looking at your bound and free testosterone levels, doctors can diagnose various conditions, including erectile dysfunction, which can result from low testosterone levels.
Saliva contains only free testosterone. A 2012 study found that measuring free testosterone (as opposed to total testosterone, which requires blood testing) is the best way to test for low T. What’s more, saliva samples allow you to test your free testosterone level at home without having to prick your finger with a needle or have blood drawn.
Many men prefer to sample their saliva because collection is quick, convenient, non-intrusive, and pain-free. Specimen collection does require attention to detail, however.
How Accurate are Home Testosterone Test Kits?
There is some disagreement among experts about the accuracy of home testosterone testing. Some of that disagreement may be related to the high risk of human error with home testing.
There is research support for home testing. A 2016 study found that measurements of testosterone in saliva tended to be higher than measurements taken another way. However, that result only applied to female study participants; measurements in males were found to be accurate.
There is widespread agreement, however, that the accuracy of results depends on the quality of the sample, so follow the instructions that come with your kit exactly.
What You Have to Know About Testosterone Testing
If you test your testosterone with a home test kit, follow the instructions in the kit closely. Here’s what you must consider when collecting samples:
- The time of the day/week. Your test kit instructions may ask you to collect your saliva sample between 7 and 10 a.m. on Monday. Do just that. Don’t shrug off the instructions and assume that it won’t make a difference if you take your sample at 8 p.m. on a Wednesday. It will.
- What you eat and drink. Foods and beverages may change the chemical makeup of your saliva, influence free testosterone levels, and result in inaccurate results. Wine, milk products, meat, soy, and chocolate can all have this effect, so don’t consume these foods before taking a saliva sample.
- Sample storage. Some tests may require you to keep your samples refrigerated until you mail them in. Some may ask you to put them in the freezer if you collect them on a day other than Monday. If you do that, mention it in the documentation. The lab needs to understand the condition of your samples.
- The condition of your mouth. You may have bleeding wounds in your mouth that let blood get into your saliva. Blood can significantly influence your salivary testosterone levels.
- Chewing. Chewing increases your saliva production. When you produce more saliva, you alter the free testosterone concentration.
Why Should You Test Your Testosterone?
There are many reasons why a man may want to know his testosterone levels. Testosterone is an essential hormone for erectile function. If your erections are soft, low testosterone levels may be at fault.
Testosterone also plays a role in male physical fitness. Bodybuilders may want to know whether they have enough of this essential muscle-building fuel in their bodies.
Testosterone-boosting supplements often make bold claims about their ability to raise testosterone levels. By testing your testosterone levels at home, you can verify whether they work as claimed.
More importantly, low testosterone levels can cause serious health problems. Sometimes, finding out that you have a hormonal problem can give you a chance to improve your health and quality of life.
Low testosterone symptoms can include:
- Chronic tiredness and lack of energy
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
- Irritability and depression
- Loss of facial and body hair
- Loss of muscle mass
- Weight gain
- Inability to focus
- Loss of physical strength and endurance
- Hair loss
While low testosterone can rob you of your health, abnormally high testosterone can also be a sign of health problems.
If your test results tell you that you have too much testosterone in your body, you may want to talk to your doctor about:
- Acne and excessive body hair
- Prostate problems
- Sleep apnea
- Testicular cancer
The Advantages of Home Testosterone Testing
Testing your testosterone levels at home is convenient, discreet, fast, and minimally or non-invasive. Even the tests requiring blood samples offer relatively painless ways to draw blood.
Test Your Testosterone Levels with eDrugstore
We carry a high-quality, saliva-based testosterone home test kit you can use to find out if your testosterone levels are to blame for symptoms or poor erectile performance or other symptoms. Fighting erectile dysfunction starts with identifying its causes.
We deliver your results in 2-5 days, and we offer a free consultation with a U.S.-licensed physician if your results warrant additional investigation.
James spent the better part of the last decade studying and writing about the physiology of sleep and its correlations with dreams. He studied various drugs, natural substances, and hallucinogens that can impact the intensity and frequency of dreams.
For two years, he busted dietary supplement scams, analyzing various performance-enhancing compounds, nootropics, etc.