What steps will my doctor take to find out if I have low testosterone?
You may think that it will be a long and frustrating process to find out if you have low testosterone. In reality, the tests involved with diagnosing low testosterone are not much different than those you would receive during a routine check-up.
First, your doctor will start by asking you some questions about your medical history and the symptoms you are currently experiencing. Your doctor will then proceed with a physical examination of certain body features, such as hair growth, muscle mass, and the size of your testes. This is done to identify whether or not you display any of the key traits indicative of low testosterone.
If your doctor suspects that you may have low testosterone, they will ask you to complete a simple blood test that measures the testosterone concentration in your serum (blood). The testosterone levels in your blood can vary throughout the day so your doctor will usually conduct the test in the morning because this is when your testosterone levels are the highest. Giving blood can sometimes be uncomfortable, but this test will help confirm if you have low testosterone.
Typically, the results of your blood test, as well as information about your symptoms, will provide your doctor with enough information to determine what the next steps are in developing your treatment plan. Sometimes follow-up tests, such as hormone testing, pituitary imaging, or semen analysis, may be ordered so your doctor can get a more detailed idea about what is causing your low testosterone.
Remember, your doctor is the only person who can order the blood test required to diagnose low testosterone. If you are experiencing symptoms that you think may be associated with low testosterone, visit your doctor and get the conversation started!