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.
We can make sure the experience is as easy, convenient, and painless as possible. By partnering with Spire Healthcare, we make the process simple and seamless by offering easy-to-book appointments at your local Spire Hospital. Here’s how it works:
Booking your private test for testosterone levels
As well as testosterone level testing we have a comprehensive range of health checks and diagnostic blood tests available, including male and female hormone profiles.
After you have selected the right test for you, simply order online through our secure payment system or chat to a member of our team. Once your order is placed, you’ll receive all the information you need to arrange your convenient blood draw appointment at one of our Spire Hospital locations.
Your pathology passport – the information sent to you after you place your order – will also tell you whether you need to fast ahead of your test. Included in each request for testosterone testing are:
- A doctor’s referral
- All phlebotomy
- All laboratory fees
- Our GP’s comments
How your appointment works
We partner with Spire Healthcare to offer a professional phlebotomy service. This guarantees that your blood samples are taken and handled correctly and that your results are processed efficiently by clinical professionals. Our confidential blood examination for testosterone levels is available at over thirty private clinics around the UK.
Unlike home testing healthcare kits, where you take the sample yourself, our trained professionals reduce the likelihood of errors such as collecting an insufficient amount of blood or accidental contamination, which could delay your test results.
At your appointment, the friendly team will talk to you about your test, collect your blood sample and send it off for testing at an accredited partner laboratory. All you need to do is arrive for your appointment. We’ll take care of the test, and the rest.
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 easily 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.