Testosterone is a hormone that affects sex drive, as well as bone and muscle health. Both men and women have testosterone, but men have much more of it.

Low testosterone levels in men can cause a lower sex drive, erectile dysfunction, infertility, weight gain, depression and decreased bone density, among other symptoms.

Too much testosterone in women can cause acne, decreased breast size, excess body and facial hair, changes in your period, and hair thinning or baldness.

A testosterone test measures the amount of testosterone in the blood.

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What is a testosterone test?

There are different types of testosterone tests, but the most accurate one measures total testosterone in the blood. Test results are measured in nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).

Why is a testosterone test important?

A testosterone test can determine your testosterone levels and help your healthcare provider decide if you need treatment for abnormal levels. It is usually ordered when symptoms of low or high testosterone are present.

A testosterone test can also be used to help diagnose other conditions, including certain cancers, a problem with your thyroid or pituitary gland, or osteoporosis.

What should you expect with a testosterone test?

You don’t need to do anything to prepare for a testosterone test. To perform the test, your healthcare provider will use a needle to draw a sample of blood from a vein in your arm.

Your provider may want to take the blood sample in the morning because that’s when testosterone levels are usually the highest.

Normal results for a testosterone test can vary based on the laboratory. Your healthcare provider will also consider other factors, such as age and other medical conditions, when reading your testosterone test results.

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