Questions about testosterone levels normally come about when an individual is experiencing symptoms that are considered abnormal. While most people think of testosterone as being relevant only to male health, the fact is that women may also experience situations where the level of testosterone is outside a normal range. The good news is that determining current testosterone levels is a simple process that can yield results in as little as a couple of days.
All that is required to evaluate the current level of testosterone is a simple blood test. A qualified health professional such as a doctor or nurse will draw blood, usually from a vein found in one of the arms. This is accomplished by wrapping an elastic band around the upper portion of the arm, causing the veins in the lower arm to become more prominent. After selecting the vein and swabbing the skin with alcohol, a needle is inserted directly into the vein. One or two small vials of blood are filled with blood, and the puncture is bandaged.
The collected blood is forwarded to a lab, where tests are run to determine the current level of testosterone found in the samples. This process usually does not take more than one or two days. The tests can ascertain if the individual is suffering from a testosterone deficiency or if the levels are higher than what is considered normal for the age and gender of the patient.
Checking for high or low testosterone levels generally takes place when one or more symptoms indicate that the level of this male hormone is not within a normal range. In males, the test may be ran if there is difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection, or if there is some concern that sperm levels are too low to allow the male to father a child. Boys under and at the average age of puberty may also be checked if the development of male gender characteristics seems to be delayed or accelerated in some manner.
With women, checking testosterone levels may be recommended if the female begins to exhibit such male related characteristics as the development of excessive hair on the body and face, or an unusual deepening of the voice. Low testosterone may also be indicated if the female finds that she has little or no desire to engage in sexual activity with her partner. Doctors sometimes run checks on testosterone levels when investigating incidences where a woman is experiencing unusual circumstances with her menstrual periods.
Because the testing of testosterone levels can determine if the current levels are low or high, these tests are key to determining what type of treatments must take place to restore those levels to a normal range. In some cases, the testosterone therapy may utilize medications to lower testosterone levels in order to eliminate undesirable symptoms associated with the condition. When the testing indicates the presence of a low level of testosterone, testosterone replacement therapy may be employed to bring the levels up to a normal range.