What is testosterone?
Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in humans. This sex hormone that is secreted by the interstitial cells of the testes in men, and the ovaries and adrenal glands in women, encouragers the development of male sexual characteristics, stimulates the activity of the male secondary sex characteristics, and prevents changes in them follow castration. Testosterone plays an important role in the sphere of sexuality, especially in humans. It encourages the healthy growth of bone and muscle, and helps maintain muscle strength. Testosterone also promotes the maturation of sperm, sperm productions and helps with the swelling of voluntary muscles. It is used to treat male hypogonadism and delayed male puberty as well as to relieve symptoms in some forms of metastatic breast cancer in females, and is used as the base for various esters (e.g., cypionate, enanthate, and propionate). Women normally secrete a certain amount of male hormones, however if the hormone balance is disturbed and there is overproduction of male hormones in a woman, masculinization may develop.
High levels of testosterone appear to promote good health in men, for example, lowering the risks of high blood pressure and heart attack. High testosterone levels also correlate with risky behavior, however, including increased aggressiveness and smoking, which may cancel out these health benefits. Abnormally low testosterone levels can occur due to a number of conditions affecting the glands that regulate and produce this hormone. Symptoms of low testosterone include decreased libido, impotence or erectile dysfunction, breast enlargement, and a lowered sperm count. Low testosterone levels may be treated with hormone therapy.
Testosterone levels can vary depending on many factors, for example in the morning testosterone levels are higher as a result of an exercise.
Why measure the level of testosterone?
This test may be useful for evaluating the functionality hormone in humans, and is often used for the diagnosis of hirsutism or polycystic ovary that is found in women. If the levels of testosterone are evaluated, we can diagnosis patients with conditions such as impotence or infertility. On average, in adult males, levels of testosterone are about 7–8 times as great as in adult females. As the metabolic consumption of testosterone in males is greater, the daily production is about 20 times greater in men. Females are also more sensitive to the hormone.
Standard of preparation
Sampling is usually done in the morning in the hospital. There are no special preparations needed for this test. The doctor will advise and recommend if you need to be fasting prior to the blood examination. You should inform your doctor of any medication you are taking prior to the exam, as some medical treatments may interfere with the blood results.
Is the examination painful or dangerous?
The examination is neither painful nor dangerous. The patient may feel a tingling sensation with the entrance of the needle in the arm when blood is being extracted for examination.
How is the exam performed?
The exam consists of a simple blood sample test.