If you’re male and have been experiencing symptoms such as low energy, poor libido, or fertility issues, it could be worth exploring whether low testosterone could be the cause.
While there could, of course, be other reasons behind those problems, ruling out any issues with your testosterone levels may be a good place to start.
What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone found in humans, as well as in other animals. For men, testosterone is produced primarily in the testicles. Women also produce testosterone, in the ovaries, but in much smaller quantities.
During puberty the production of the hormone increases significantly and around the age of 30 it begins to dip.
Testosterone is most commonly associated with sex drive, and it plays a crucial part in the production of sperm. But testosterone also affects bone and muscle mass, influences how men store body fat, and the production of red blood cells.
What are the signs of low testosterone?
While testosterone levels do naturally start to decline with age, low levels could suggest a hormone disorder.
When levels of testosterone are low, there are a range of symptoms which can present themselves. These include:
- Breast growth
- Loss of body hair
- Reduced sex drive
- Reduced testicle size
- Skin changes
Can you have too much testosterone?
For men, raised levels of testosterone can be caused by the use of anabolic steroids or an endocrine disorder.
For women, increased levels of the hormone is usually associated with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This can lead to unwanted male characteristics such as facial hair.
Are there health conditions which can affect testosterone?
For men, certain diseases, conditions, or injury can cause a drop in testosterone. These can include:
Problems with the pituitary and hypothalamus glands such as a tumour, medications such as steroids, morphine or tranquilizers, HIV/AIDS or certain infections and autoimmune conditions.
- Problems with the testes such as a direct injury or infection, castration, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, or tumours.
Genetic diseases such as Klinefelter syndrome or hemochromatosis can also affect testosterone levels.
For women, a deficiency of testosterone can result from a disease of the pituitary, adrenal or hypothalamus glands or the removal of the ovaries.
Getting your testosterone levels tested
If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, you may want to consider getting tested for confirmation. Armed with this information, you can make more informed decisions in order to optimise your health and wellbeing.
Private testosterone testing in the comfort of your own home
With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health and wellbeing.
At Blue Horizon we offer a comprehensive range of blood testing options to help you understand your testosterone levels and the impact this could be having on your overall health.
Quick and convenient home blood tests
This test is available as a finger prick or vacutainer sample collection option. You can also choose to visit a BMI Hospital or have a nurse home visit.
If you choose to collect the sample yourself, your home-to-laboratory kit contains everything you need to take a blood sample in the comfort of your own home, at a time to suit you, and sent it back to us for testing.
Clear, accurate results
The time it takes to receive your results will depend on the type of test you have chosen. When they are ready, your results will be sent directly to you, via email, within the time specified. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of your results through the post, that can be arranged for you.
You can also choose the option of reported or unreported results. Reported results include information and comment from our GP which you may find helpful to discuss with your own consultant, or for your records.