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    male fertility

    Androgen Hormone Testing

    • 10686 views
    • 4.5   (1 Votes)
    Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MS, MBBS on 01 Jul 2019 - Written by Dr. Richa Katiyar - ART Fellowship, MBBS, MD - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MS, MBBS

    Androgen hormone testing like testosterone level test is performed to check the level of the hormone in a patient. It is produced in both males and females. Androgen hormone testing (testosterone testing) is performed when a person experiences abnormal testosterone level in his/her body.

    Androgen tests are performed to find out the level of different androgens in human blood. It is also known as testosterone test which is the most common test recommended by a medical expert. This test is usually used to see whether a person has abnormal androgen levels or not. Androgen that includes testosterone is produced by both men and women body. Testosterone is a hormone that plays an important role in male traits and reproductive activity. Some other androgens include Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), DHEA Sulfate (DHEA-S) and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The main purpose of androgen in a woman's body is to be converted into the female hormones i.e. called estrogens.

    Every person must know that the normal levels of a testosterone range from about 300 to 900 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL). Most of the top urologists suggest that men whose testosterone level fall within the normal range would be healthy as compared to other men. There are two principal androgens i.e. Testosterone and Androstenedione. These androgen hormones are present in men at a much higher level for traits and reproductive activity. However, the main purpose of androgen hormone in a woman’s body is to be converted into a female hormone i.e. called estrogens. Effective medical treatment for low testosterone level present in the body comes in the form of testosterone supplements. One of the most common testosterone supplements called methyltestosterone has received a positive reaction from the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, some of the fertility experts advise doctors not to prescribe this supplement due to its speed. This is because it can lead to liver toxicity. While many doctors can now legally prescribe the supplement. Testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) can help in restoring some affected functions of low testosterone levels in the body. TRT mainly have a positive impact on bone strength and hemoglobin levels in the blood.

    In this article, you will find useful information about the following aspects of Androgen Hormone Testing: 

    What are Androgens?

    Androgens are often known as “male” hormone, but these hormones are present in both males and females. Androgen hormone is an important hormone that is used for normal reproductive function, emotional well being, function and growth of lean muscles, and bone strength. In fact, it is also stated that in some cases women have more androgen levels than estrogens circulating in their body. Androgens play multiple roles in the human body. Some androgen hormone effects stimulation of the body, pubic hair growth, sexual desire, and muscle growth. In both men and women, androgens are the predecessor to estrogens. The androgen-into-estrogen action plays one of the primary roles of androgen hormones in women. However, in women, the androgen hormones are created in the adrenal glands, ovaries, and also in the fat cells.

    What are Androgens

    The androgen hormones include:

    • Testosterone: Testosterone is an anabolic steroid and the major male sex hormone. (1) Testosterone regulates the fertility muscle mass, red blood cell production and fat distribution. When the level of the testosterone drops in a human body, then it can lead to certain conditions such as hypogonadism or infertility. (2)Testosterone helps in bringing on the physical changes that help in the progression of a boy into a man. The level of testosterone change from hour to hour in a man. Testosterone levels in men are highest by the age of 20 to 30 and slowly decrease after the age of 30 to 35. (3)
    • Androstenedione (A4):Androstenedione is used to increase the production of the hormone testosterone to increase physical performance, enhance energy, keep Red Blood Cells (RBC) healthy, increase recovery, and growth of the human body. This hormone also improves and increase sexual desire and performance of a person. (4)
    • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA):DHEA is produced inside the body. It is a naturally made hormone that works in the body to contribute to the successful production of male and female sex hormones. Usually, this hormone is used for slowing signs of aging, improving physical performance and similar conditions. The release of this hormone is caused by adrenal glands near the kidneys by the liver. (5)
    • DHEA sulfate (DHEA-S): DHEA is a weak male androgen hormone that is produced by the adrenal glands in both men and women. This sulfate test measures the amount of DHEA sulfate in human blood. (6)
    • Androsterone: Androstenedione is a steroid hormone who has a weak and androgenic action on the body. However, androsterone mainly acts as a stepping stone in the manufacture of testosterone and estrogen in the body. (7)
    • Dihydrotestosterone (DHT): Dihydrotestosterone is a type of hormone that stimulates the development of androgen. This hormone is made through the conversion of androgen and testosterone. (8)

    What is the procedure of Androgen Hormone Testing?

    One must know that testosterone test is one of the most important types of Androgen hormone test. Testosterone test i.e. Androgen hormone test is performed by a medical professional in a medical laboratory. After the test is completed, a person may feel some pain or discomfort. But relaxing the arm can help ease the pain. This medical test requires taking a blood sample of a man which involves the following steps:

    What is the procedure of Androgen Hormone Testing

    • A medical expert performing the test will clean the area from where he/she will draw the blood. 
    • The blood is generally taken from the vein located inside the elbow or else from the back of the hand. 
    • Then the fertility expert will tie an elastic band around the upper arm to make blood pool in the vein. 
    • The medical professional will then insert a sterile needle into the veins.
    • Further, the fertility specialist will transfer the blood drawn into a tube which will be sent for testing in the associated medical laboratory. 
    • After collecting the blood successfully the medical professional will remove the elastic band and the needle from the arm. 
    • The medical expert will then apply pressure to the insertion site to stop bleeding and avoid bruising which can otherwise severe the area and make the patient feel discomfort. 
    • In the end, the medical expert will apply a bandage to the arm. (9)

    What is tested in the testosterone level test?

    Testosterone is a hormone which plays a crucial role in the functioning of a male's body. As stated, the test measures the levels of testosterone present in the human blood. Most of the testosterone hormone present in the blood is efficiently attached to proteins. Testosterone hormone that is not attached to a protein is known free testosterone. There are two main types of testosterone tests which are mentioned below:

    Total testosterone: Total testosterone test is serum testosterone which is used to measure both attached and free type of testosterone level. This test measurement of testosterone is a good initial diagnostic test for patients who have doubtful infertility issues. This medical test helps in evaluation of hypogonadism. Total Testosterone test includes a free testosterone test along with protein-bound testosterone concentration.

    Free testosterone: Free testosterone is another type of testosterone primarily found in men. The free testosterone test is performed to measure the level of free testosterone only. This test can give more information about certain medical conditions. A free testosterone test measures the amount of unattached, or "free," testosterone in the blood of a man or a woman. A Free Testosterone level test is most useful in case the sex hormone- binding globulin level is abnormally declined. This test is also recommended by the leading doctors or specialists in case the test result shows false low total testosterone levels. This may generally occur in older or obese patients.

    When is an androgen hormone test performed?

    Androgen hormone test is performed to check the deficiency of the level of male sex hormones primarily in men. These hormones are responsible for the induction of sexual differentiation. A testosterone level test may be used to diagnose multiple conditions such as:

    What Is Tested in the Testosterone Level Test

    • This medical test can be performed when any men or women have decreased sex drive.
    • Androgen hormone test can be recommended by an infertility specialist if men and women experience infertility issues.
    • Men can undergo androgen test if he is suffering from Erectile Dysfunction (ED).
    • This test can be performed by a fertility specialist when any men or women have decreased sex drive.
    • Androgen hormone test can be recommended by a fertility specialist if any men and women experience infertility issues.
    • A Testosterone test can be suggested in an early or delayed puberty in boys.
    • A fertility expert can advise a woman for androgen hormone test in case she has excess body hair growth and dealing with the development of masculine features.
    • This medical test can also be performed in a case when a woman is experiencing irregular menstrual periods for a couple of months in a row. (10)

    Why would an individual go for androgen levels testing?

    A person will require to undergo androgen hormone test if he/she has symptoms of abnormal testosterone levels. However, in adult men, it is mostly recommended if they have symptoms of low testosterone levels. In the case of women, the testosterone test is suggested when they have certain specific symptoms of having high testosterone levels in the body. 

    Symptoms of low testosterone levels in Men

    Symptoms of high testosterone levels in Women

    Low sex drive

    Excess body and facial hair growth

    Difficulty getting an erection

    Deepening of voice

    Fertility problems

    Increasing Acne

    Hair loss

    Weight gain

    Weakening of bones

    Development of breast tissue

    Loss of muscle mass

    Menstrual irregularities

    As compared to men, it is found that there is a surplus production of androgens in women. It is the most common cause of anovulatory infertility i.e. a woman fails to ovulate. Also, if in case a woman fails to conceive then her androgen levels will be checked to see if it is one of the prime reasons which is preventing her from getting pregnant. Androgen level tests will be checked for a woman who has begun to display masculine physical features which include increased body hair or a deepening voice. A woman can also get her androgen hormone test if her fertility doctor suspects Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in her. Rather than women, men also need to have a testosterone level test if they have delayed in their puberty due to low symptoms of testosterone. A man will also be asked to undergo androgen test if he experiences early puberty because it may be a symptom of having a high testosterone level. 

    What do PCOS and Increased androgen levels mean?

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common complex endocrine genetic disorder in women. This involves the overproduction of androgens, and lead to a heterogeneous range of symptoms. PCOS also causes increased metabolic and cardiovascular morbidity. (11) A polycystic ovarian syndrome is the most common reason for having high androgen levels. PCOS can be controlled by a healthy diet and physical activities. This will often improve the fertility of the person. The fertility doctor may ask a person with PCOS to change their diet and exercise more regularly to try to decrease symptoms. (12) Losing the weight can help a woman in getting her menstrual cycle and ovulation going. A doctor can also advise the patient to take anti-androgens or medication which may help in decreasing the patient's insulin. This is because it will help a woman to improve her ovulation. The fertility doctor will try to discover and treat the primary cause of increased androgen levels. (13)

    PCOS and Increased Androgen

    How are testosterone level blood test results checked?

    If the result of the Androgen hormone test falls within a normal reference range then there is no need for further medical intervention. In the case of increased testosterone in the blood of a person than the normal reference range, it may be due to early puberty in men, hypersexuality, infertility, presence of acne, high libido, or tumor in testes. Other than this, some of the prominent reasons for increased testosterone level can be high blood pressure, aggression, PCOS, decreased sperm count. Or if the level of testosterone is less than the normal range then it may be due to hypogonadism which means the failure of the testes and ovaries in men and women respectively. This may be caused due to testicular failure, pituitary disorders, genetic disorder, obesity, adrenal or ovarian cancer, high levels of stress, or any major surgery. However, the testosterone blood test results may vary depending on the age, gender, health history, advanced technology or latest method used for the test. (14) The levels of testosterone are mentioned in the below table:

    Gender

    Age groups

    Value

    MALE

    All age groups

    300 to 1,000 ng/dl

    FEMALE

    All age groups

    20 to 70 ng/dl

    Testosterone level test results may vary depending on the age, gender, health history, the advanced method used for performing the test successfully, and many other things such as the experience of the doctor, infrastructure of the chosen clinic. However, the medical test results may not always mean that a person has a problem. An individual can consult his/her healthcare expert about the test results. Approximate general Free Androgen Index (FAI) values usually range between 30 and 150 in men. The levels of testosterone ranging below 30 mean that the body has possible testosterone deficiency. Women usually have FAI values ranging from 7 to 10. The normal ranges of serum testosterone for adults are mentioned below.

    Males: 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL)

    If the testosterone level of a male falls below 200 ng/dL then it may be diagnosed with hypogonadism. Hypogonadism is a deficiency of androgen that causes the levels of testosterone to drop in the concerned male patient. If the report includes high testosterone levels then it may mean that the respective men have a tumor in his testicles or adrenal glands. Adrenal glands help in controlling the heart rate, blood pressure, and other functions of the body efficiently. If in case the report includes low testosterone levels then it may mean that the respective individual may have a genetic or chronic disease or a problem with his pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is an important organ in the brain that helps in controlling multiple functions of the body effectively, including growth and fertility.

    Females: 20 to 70 ng/dL

    The hormone levels of a woman may be affected by a temporary health condition, such as pregnancy. One woman can also have results that aren't clear and need to be retested. If the report of testosterone test includes high level then it may indicate a condition i.e. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is one of the common hormone disorders that affects women of childbearing age. It is one of the leading causes of female infertility all over the world. The high level of testosterone in a woman's body may also mean that the woman is suffering from cancer of the ovaries or adrenal glands. However, the low levels of testosterone are normal but if in case the reports indicate extremely low levels of testosterone present in the body then it may indicate Addison disease. Addison disease is a disorder of the pituitary gland.

    How to increase the level of testosterone naturally?

    Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men, but women also have a small amount of it in their body. It is a steroid hormone which is produced in testicles and ovaries of the men and women respectively. The adrenal glands also produce small amounts of testosterone in a human body. The testosterone is one of the main hormones that play a vital role during the puberty in boys. However, it is important to have optimal levels of testosterone throughout adulthood and even during later years of life. In adults, healthy levels of testosterone are important for general health, body composition, and sexual performance. Additionally, enhancing the level of testosterone in the patient's body can cause rapid gains in muscle mass of the body and vitality in only a few weeks. Testosterone level test plays an important role in female health and sexual well-being also. According to one of the recent medical researches, it is pretty conclusive that both male and female should ensure that they maintain a healthy level of testosterone. Here are some of the ways to increase testosterone levels naturally.

    Testosterone Naturally

    • Heavy Exercises
    • Eat protein, carbs, and fat
    • Be stress-free
    • Take Vitamin D
    • Get plenty of rest 

    How to test testosterone levels at home?

    There are multiple products available for testing the level of hormone in a person at home. Most of the available products in the market test the saliva rather than the blood of a person. After taking the samples of saliva, the concerned medical professional sends those samples to an advanced medical lab comprising of required advanced technologies for testing. A person can get his/her reports within a few days or a week after the test has been done. (15)

    Before relying on the results of the saliva test performed with the help of a testosterone home test kit, every person should be aware of the accuracy of salivary testing versus testosterone blood testing. Researchers have stated that testing saliva is much easier and less invasive than drawing blood from the patient. Many of the professional doctors and researchers suggest going for the saliva test in case of Androgen Hormone Testing. However, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists still recommends blood tests for measuring the level of testosterone in the patients. This is because of the variation they see in the saliva testing as compared to the androgen hormone test. This is because of the variation they see in the results of saliva testing at home. On the other hand, some reviews conclude that saliva is more preferable because it is less stressful for the patients. One of the latest medical researches also stated that saliva is as reliable as other body fluids such as tears, urine, and sweat. The results of testosterone in saliva samples can also get affected by the way the saliva is collected and stored. (16)

    What is the cost of testosterone level blood test? 

    Testosterone plays the main role in the facilitation of the production of sperm. It stimulates the development of secondary sexual characteristics in men that includes the growth of the hair, deepening of the voice, penis enlargement, and development of muscle. In women, the testosterone is converted to the main female sex hormone called Estradiol. The production of testosterone is high in the early morning hours i.e. from 4 am to 8 am. Its production of this hormone is low from about 4 pm to 8 pm. However, the production of testosterone is high at the age of puberty and starts declining at the age of near to 30. Most of the testosterone present in the body attaches to 2 proteins i.e. albumin and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG). Some of them are not attached to the protein which is known as free testosterone. Free testosterone and albumin-bound testosterone are also known as bioavailable testosterone. Free testosterone is the most commonly used hormone in the human body.

    Testosterone is responsible for the male sex hormone. This is mainly produced by the Leydig cell that is present in the male testicles. LH hormone also helps testicles to produce testosterone. In women, the testosterone is produced in a very less amount by ovaries. Testosterone hormone is also produced by adrenal glands in both men and women. The cost of the testosterone hormone test ranges from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1300. The cost also depends on the advanced lab and professional doctor chosen for the medical test. A person must know that the cost of testosterone depends on his/her respective medical case. 

    Thus, Androgen hormone test which includes testosterone test helps in measuring the amount of testosterone present in the blood. A person can go for androgen hormone test if he/she has symptoms of abnormal androgen levels. A person also needs to undergo this test is also performed as per the advice of his/her fertility specialist. If in case any person wants to get more specific information related to the tests or various infertility treatment with high success rates then he/she can visit elawoman.com or else you can call us on +918929020600. Elawoman helps couples to find the most affordable and comfortable infertility treatment near their locations.

    Dr. Richa Katiyar

    Written by

    ART Fellowship, MBBS, MD
    Obstetrician, Infertility Specialist
    Delhi

    Dr. Richa Katiyar is one of the best Gynaecologists in Vasant Kunj, Delhi. She completed her MBBS from S.N. Medical College, Agra in the year 1994 and MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in 2001. She went on to Fellowship in ART(Assisted Reproductive Technology) from Germany's Kiel School. Dr. Richa Katiyar also completed her Diploma in Ultrasonography in 2004 and is certified by Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India.

    She has received many awards and recognitions including Gold Medal in Obstetrics and Gynecology in MBBS and International Goldstar Millenium Award, Bangkok, Thailand, at Indo-Thai Economic Summit In 2013. Dr. Katiyar is a member of Federation of Obstetrical and Gynaecological Societies of India, Indian Fertility Society (IFS) and American Society of Assisted Reproduction (ASRM) which is valued all over the world. She has gained over 15 years of experience and has specialized in male infertility treatment, ICSI, IUI, Hysteroscopy, IVF and Laparoscopy.

    She also has an excellent record of success rate in infertility treatment. She makes use of modern medical equipment for effective measures and precision. Presently, she is managing director at Hope Fertility and infertility specialist and consultant at the Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital. Fortis Hospitals is one of the well-recognized healthcare centre in India. The branches of the centre are spread in many cities across India and have become the first choice of patients for infertility treatments. The major units of Fortis hospital are located in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore, Kolkata, and Chennai.

    The Fortis Hospital located in Vasant Kunj, New Delhi is spread over an area of 150000 sq. ft and can accommodate around 200 patients. The hospital specializes in Laparoscopy Surgery, Contraception and Family Planning Advice, Infertility Assessment, Cryopreservation and Vitrification, IVF, IUI, ICSI, High-Risk Pregnancy Management, Obstetrics and Gynecology. Apart from the treatment, the staff at the hospital provides 24-hour assistance and also counseling for diet.

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    Vikramaditya Yateen

    June 26, 2019, 10:06 a.m. 4.5

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