Low testosterone note next to a rotten banana

What Do Your Testosterone Test Results Mean?

Highlights  

  • Your testosterone test results tell you how much T you have in your blood.
  • Abnormal testosterone levels can reveal underlying conditions such as thyroid dysfunction or polycystic ovary syndrome in women.
  • At-home testosterone test kits are as accurate as in-clinic testosterone tests.
  • The best testosterone test kits are quick, affordable, and pain-free. 

Your testosterone test results tell you and your doctor the amount of testosterone in your blood. Testosterone levels can be within a normal range, too low, or too high. Abnormal testosterone levels may point to the existence of a disease or explain conditions such as erectile dysfunction, hair loss, etc. 

How Testosterone Is Tested

Doctors measure testosterone levels through a blood test. To get tested, you have to go to a doctor’s office or a lab and provide a blood sample. To get the sample, your healthcare professional will use a small needle and insert it into one of the veins on your arms. 

Alternatively, you can buy a testosterone test kit online and provide a saliva sample. Saliva samples are accurate and more convenient than going to a doctor and being pricked with a needle. 

Making Sense of Your Testosterone Test Results

There are a few things you should know about testosterone in order to understand your results. 

Types of Testosterone

Testosterone exists in several states in your blood. Some of it is bound to proteins like albumin and SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). Some of it drifts freely in the blood and is referred to as free testosterone.

Most of your testosterone is bound to SHBG. 

Testosterone tests measure your total testosterone or bioavailable testosterone. 

  • Total testosterone includes your bound and free testosterone, and it is expressed in ng/dL (nanograms per deciliter) in your testosterone test results.
  • Bioavailable testosterone includes only the testosterone bound to albumin and the free T.
  • Free testosterone tests only measure your free testosterone and express their findings in pg/dL (picograms per deciliter). 

Normal Testosterone Levels

According to the Mount Sinai Health System of New York, the normal testosterone levels are in the 300-1,000 ng/dL range for males and 15-70 ng/dL for females. 

Testosterone levels tend to vary with age, physical condition, and even the time of the day. Doctors recommend that you provide your testing samples in the morning when testosterone levels are the highest.  

When To Consider a Testosterone Test

If you are a man, abnormal testosterone levels usually translate to low testosterone. Consider testing your testosterone levels if you find yourself struggling with any of the following ailments: 

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Low sex drive
  • Brittle bones
  • Early or late puberty onset
  • Poor sperm health and low sperm count 
Unhappy couple in bed
Consider checking your T levels when your sex drive goes missing

For women, abnormal testosterone levels usually mean high testosterone. High testosterone can cause: 

  • Abnormal hair growth on the body and face
  • Acne and oily skin
  • Enlarged clitoris
  • Hair loss
  • Abnormal periods
  • Deepening voice 

High or low testosterone may also signal the presence of other diseases. Your doctors may order a test if they consider it warranted for any reason. 

How to Interpret Your Testosterone Test Results

Your testosterone test results include a reference range, so you can tell at a glance whether your levels are within the normal range. If they are, you shouldn’t do anything else unless your doctor orders additional tests. 

If you are a man and your results are outside the normal range, they may indicate several medical problems. 

  • Genetic diseases
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Testicular tumors
  • Testicle injuries
  • Interrupted sleep or sleep apnea
  • Obesity
  • Adrenal gland tumors 

In women, abnormal testosterone levels can indicate: 

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Adrenal gland tumors
  • Problems with the pituitary gland
  • Ovarian cancer 

Don’t jump to conclusions when interpreting your testosterone test results. Only a qualified healthcare specialist can use them for diagnostic purposes, in combination with other diagnostic procedures.

Saliva sample collector
Saliva samples are pain-free

Your Results are In. Now What?

However your testosterone test results turn out, don’t read too much into them. Although they’re likely to be reliable, you can’t use them to establish a diagnosis. Not even your doctor can. 

To find out the cause of high or low testosterone, your doctor will likely recommend further diagnostic tests. You may have to undergo imaging tests, biopsies, or blood work.

Your doctor may even ask you to repeat the test to confirm its findings. Always talk to your doctor about your test results, and never assume anything. 

How to Find the Best At-home Testosterone Test Kit

All home testosterone kits measure the same thing, and most have high accuracy rates. To ensure you buy one that will give the most reliable results and will meet your needs, ensure that the kit you’re considering:

  • Is lab-certified to be accurate
  • Comes with free shipping
  • Is affordable
  • Returns your results in a matter of days
  • Includes a free doctor consultation for abnormal testosterone levels

Common Questions About Testosterone Testing

Are At-home Testosterone Test Kits Accurate?

Lab-certified at-home testosterone tests are as accurate as the tests doctors perform in a clinic.

At-home testosterone test kits use saliva samples to measure testosterone. Research says that not only do saliva tests accurately measure T, but they may also be a viable alternative for bioavailable T-tests, as SHBG and albumin variations don’t affect testosterone in saliva. 

This means that the best testosterone test kits are as accurate as in-clinic blood test measurements. 

Is 500 a Good Testosterone Level?

If we are talking about 500 ng/dL of total testosterone in a male, then yes, that result is within the normal range, albeit closer to the lower than the higher end.

Don’t try to boost your testosterone if your testosterone test results show a value of ~500. You are a healthy male. Though testosterone supplementation will help if you have low testosterone, there are no benefits to boosting T that’s within normal range — it may even hurt you. 

Will Masturbating Affect My Test Results?

The hormonal response of the male body to sexual activity is still a mystery to science. Masturbation, like orgasm achieved through intercourse, seems to have some impact on testosterone levels. 

A recent study noted that masturbation could maintain elevated free testosterone levels throughout the day. Normally, free testosterone levels vary and are highest in the morning. It is unclear whether these effects have a long-term impact. 

Research also shows that free testosterone levels are the highest in men and women right after sexual intercourse. 

A prolonged lack of sexual activity can boost testosterone levels in men, although it does not change the body’s hormonal response to orgasm. 

Masturbation and other sexual activity can, therefore, influence your testosterone test results to some degree. 

Testosterone Testing With eDrugstore

Screening for abnormal testosterone can be beneficial to your overall health. It’s easy to avoid the inconvenience of a doctor visit and unpleasant blood testing with an at-home test kit.

When you order your home testosterone test kit from eDrugstore, we will ship it to your home for free. It will take just a few painless minutes to collect your saliva sample. Simply spit in the cup provided, mail it in, and you’ll have your results in two to five days. 

For abnormal results, a free consultation with a U.S.-licensed physician is included with every purchase. If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, don’t wait. Order your test kit and take charge of your health. 

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