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If you suspect your T levels are off, at-home testosterone tests are a solid option for getting answers. Just be sure to share the results with your doctor.
Testosterone, which gets blamed for bringing a lot of Kenergy to the party, is a sex hormone found in people of all sexes and genders. Testosterone rolls in during puberty and is involved in a whole host of tasks in your body. From developing your reproductive organs to lowering your voice to developing your facial hair and body hair to producing red blood cells and sperm cells, testosterone is on the job.
Since testosterone is involved in so many functions of our bodies, it makes sense that many people have been checking out at-home testosterone tests to measure their testosterone levels. Let’s take a closer look at these tests, what makes them tick, and which one might work best for you.
Using either a sample of your blood, saliva, or urine, testosterone tests measure the amount of testosterone in your blood or your “T level.” If T levels waver from a specific range, many results could pop up in your bod.
Females with high T levels can develop acne, a deeper voice, facial hair, and decreased breast size. Males with low testosterone can experience erectile dysfunction, low libido, infertility, and fatigue.
Testosterone tests are one tool to help determine if any of these outcomes might be due to your T levels.
If you get a testosterone test with a doctor, it’s a straightforward blood test. No biggie. Make sure to nab an early appointment since T levels are highest in the morning. And don’t be surprised if you’re invited back for a retake to double-check those numbers.
Some medications like steroids, barbiturates, anticonvulsants, and androgen or estrogen therapies could affect your testosterone levels, so be sure to tell the doctor if you’re taking any of those. Your doctor might give you a physical exam if they notice specific symptoms depending on your gender.
There are also at-home testosterone tests. You collect your sample (if you can handle that) and send it to the laboratory for analysis. If it fits, it ships. Depending on the brand of at-home test, you could get your results within days or a few weeks.
Most testosterone tests track the free testosterone floating around in your sample. One study reports that tracking free testosterone is the superior way to determine whether your T levels are off.
But at-home testosterone tests might not be the lab guru you’re hoping for when it comes to accuracy. Studies disagree about the accuracy of saliva samples. Results can be thrown off by how the saliva is collected and stored, so it’s safer to go with a test requiring a blood sample.
You should always share your test results with your doctor for the precise scoop. Better yet, go and get that T-test at the doctor’s office. Having a doctor test your T levels is probably a more accurate option.
If you go for the at-home testosterone test, the LetsGetChecked Testosterone Test is a solid option. (Sorry, peeps in Rhode Island and New Jersey! This test is not available due to state self-testing regulations.)
For a pricier choice, the EveryWell Men’s Health Test uses a finger prick and saliva collection method to measure free testosterone and three other hormones: DHEA-S, cortisol, and estradiol. (This time, folks in Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York are out of luck.)
If you’re looking for even more options (I’m talking to you, RI, NJ, and NY), check out this rundown and review of other at-home testosterone tests.
The standard range for T levels in males is anywhere from 300 to 800 ng/DL and between 15 and 70 ng/DL in females. (Yes, ng/DL could mean “not going/discuss later,” but in this context, it means “nanograms per deciliter.”) Remember, for biological males, testosterone levels start to chill out and wane at around 30, which is normal.
If your numbers fall outside of this goldilocks zone – or if your results are within this standard range and you’re still feeling abnormal symptoms- don’t panic or make any sudden moves. Discuss your results and any potential next steps with your doctor.
There are many reasons for T levels to fluctuate, so don’t rush into self-treatment. Remember that over-the-counter testosterone supplements carry some potential risk side effects and haven’t been approved by the FDA.
Testosterone plays a crucial role in our bodies, besides bringing the Kenergy. To better understand their health, many folks turn to at-home testosterone tests to measure their T levels. While these tests can help determine if T levels are off, they might not be as accurate as a blood test at the doctor’s office.
The LetsGetChecked Testosterone Test or EveryWell Men’s Health Test are solid choices if you still prefer an at-home option. Remember to discuss your results with your doctor if they fall outside the standard range or if you experience abnormal symptoms. And steer clear of over-the-counter testosterone supplements, as they have potential risks and lack FDA approval.