When you see the term “testosterone,” we typically associate it with masculinity and men. However, women generate testosterone too. So, what exactly is testosterone? Testosterone is a steroid hormone that plays a significant role in the male sperm production and produced in women’s ovaries in much smaller amounts. Rising levels of testosterone stimulates physical and chemical changes for boys and men such as increased muscle, pubic hair growth, deeper lengthened vocal chords, and increased sexual desire.
Testosterone production significantly spikes during puberty and starts to drop after age 30. Having optimal levels of the steroid hormone is essential from puberty throughout adulthood for general health, aids in preventing certain chronic diseases, and increases energy levels. As our levels of testosterone naturally decrease over time, rest assured there are ways to naturally boost it back up.
Due to lack of consistent clear-cut guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of testosterone deficiency, there is a lot of confusion among both health professionals and suffering men. The multiple different testosterone preparations available further add to the complexity of testosterone treatment.
The first step (aside from identifying symptoms) in diagnosing testosterone deficiency, aka low-T, is to do a blood test.
Here I cover some important practical things to know about a blood draw for testosterone analysis...