If you are feeling sluggish, have a sex drive that is less than what you’ve been used to in the past, and find yourself irritable and depressed, your problems may all be the result of low testosterone. However, before you decide to call your doctor and make an appointment for a checkup, you may be considering using a home testosterone test kit to find out what’s going on with your hormone. Are these test kits really as accurate and reliable as they claim? Here’s all you need to know.
Medications and Medical Treatments
Since low testosterone can happen to men of all ages, you should always remember that medications and medical treatments you may be taking or receiving may influence the results you get from your at home hormone level test. If you are receiving treatment for cancer, are on medication for a pituitary gland issue, or are being treated for an injury, it is possible you could get an at-home test result that may not be completely accurate and reliable. To make sure you get the most accurate data, discuss your test results with your doctor and get an in-office test as well so that the results of the two tests can be compared with one another.
Blood Test vs. Saliva Test
Not all at-home testosterone test kits are created equal, meaning some are more reliable than others. When you are choosing a test kit that can give you a result that is almost or perhaps is just as accurate as a test you would receive in a doctor’s office, remember that a blood test is more accurate than a saliva test in almost all cases.
Free Testosterone and Total Testosterone
When you want to accurately measure how much testosterone you have in your body, it’s important to keep in mind that most at-home tests will only measure either your free or total testosterone levels. Total testosterone is the amount you have in your blood, while free testosterone is the amount in your blood that is not bound to various proteins. If you just want a basic test result showing whether or not you have low-T, a total test will usually be accurate and reliable. If you are concerned about other potential medical issues that may be impacting your testosterone level, choosing a test that measures both free and total T is your best bet.
Labs, Quick Results, and Support
Since there are so many at-home testosterone test kits on the market today, some of the most important factors you should consider when choosing your test kit include:
- Use of certified labs,
- Speed of getting your test results,
- How you will get your results (phone, app, mail),
- Follow-up support (phone consultations),
The most accurate testosterone test kits always work with labs that are CLIA-certified, which means the labs are known for closely following state and federal health testing regulations. Also, take into account the privacy measures the test company has in place for your results, which may include data protection and packaging that is very discreet. If you simply choose the cheapest test available to you, a variety of problems may ensue that involve inaccurate results, loss of privacy, and much more.
The very best at-home test kits for measuring testosterone levels will always include a review of your results by a physician who does not have a direct working relationship with that company. This can be important, especially if your test results show some inconsistencies that a doctor feels need further evaluation. While in general most doctors hesitate at the accuracy and reliability of at-home testosterone test kits, choosing a test kit that has an excellent reputation for accuracy and reliability and also includes a review by an independent physician can give you results that can be believed.
Whether affordability, fast results, or the detection of other possible physical problems is the most important factor you consider when selecting your home test kit, always compare and contrast several test kits before making your final decision. Once you choose the best testosterone test kit and visit your doctor to discuss any concerns you may have, you’ll get the most accurate and reliable assessment of your situation.