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A testosterone imbalance can present itself in a range of signs and symptoms, producing too much or too little can have impact both your physical and mental health. Interested in knowing more about your testosterone levels? An at-home blood test may be a good place to start.
We’ve got the lowdown on what testosterone is, signs of a testosterone imbalance and how to use testosterone blood tests, below.
First things first:, what is testosterone? And what does it do?
Testosterone is a major sex hormone that both women and men produce, although . testosterone levels are naturally much higher in men. It's known for being responsible for sexual development in men during puberty. However it also plays a musch more significant role in the health and wellbeing of both sexes.
Although guidance does vary,testosterone levels lower than 10 nanomole per litre (nmol/l) are generally categorised as low testosterone in men.5
Testosterone levels do decline naturally with age – they peak during adolescence and then start to gradually decrease by about 1% each year after the age of 30.6 7
It’s worth bearing in mind that the Endocrine Society guidelines say that a diagnosis of androgen deficiency (low testosterone) in healthy women cannot be made purely based on symptoms alone.13, So if you do think you may have low testosterone, it is a good idea to get your levels tested.
Studies show that testosterone has a direct effect on bone metabolism and health.14 Long-term, this means that the risk of osteoporosis is much higher in those with low testosterone levels.15
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects around 1 in 10 women in the UK, and yet despite its prevalence, the diagnosis of this common condition remains confusing.16
17 Although a diagnosis can be hard and frustrating to achieve, one of the defining features of PCOS is hyperandrogenism – a hormonal imbalance caused by the ovaries creating excess male hormones (including testosterone). This imbalance presents itself in the form of a few common PCOS symptoms:18
If you are interested in knowing more about your testosterone levels, taking a at-home testosterone test may give you better understanding before seeking further advice from your doctor.
So how is testosterone tested? There are a couple of options. You could go the traditional route of booking an appointment with your GP, or you could try an at-home test first to get quick results.
Here’s some guidance on using at-home testosterone kits:
Testosterone tests can be useful regardless of your sex. Plus, you can skip the long process of arranging an appointment and get your results ready for when you next see your doctor.