It is important to not make a diagnosis of low testosterone levels based on symptoms alone. A healthcare provider will order certain types of blood tests to measure your levels of testosterone. However, because levels can vary quite a bit from day to day, your healthcare provider may recommend a second test to verify your results.
One of the most common methods of low testosterone testing is called a "serum total testosterone" test. Most laboratories can perform this particular blood test. There is also a "serum-free testosterone" test, but only a few laboratories in the country are able to perform this test accurately. In general, a person is considered to have low testosterone levels if the serum total testosterone is below 300 ng/mL.
After confirming a diagnosis of low testosterone levels, your healthcare provider may recommend other tests to help determine the specific cause of this deficiency.
(To learn more about testing for this condition, click Diagnosing Low Testosterone. This Web selection provides a detailed look at how a healthcare provider will identify this condition and also describes which methods are unreliable.)
Written by/reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: ArthurSchoenstadt, MD
List of references (click here):
Purifoy FE, Koopmans LH, Mayes DM. Age differences in serum androgen levels in normal adult males. Hum Biol 1981; 53:499.
Vermeulen A, Verdonck L, Kaufman JM. A critical evaluation of simple methods for the estimation of free testosterone in serum. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999; 84:3666.
Rosner W, Auchus RJ, Azziz R, et al. Position statement: Utility, limitations, and pitfalls in measuring testosterone: an Endocrine Society position statement. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007; 92:405.
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