At Home Testosterone Test – How can you measure your levels?

5 Facts About at Home Testosterone Tests

  1. Purpose: An at-home testosterone test is one of the major tests designed to help males test their testosterone level. The testosterone level test measures specific biomarkers that help determine if the testosterone is abnormally high or low. It is an excellent alternative to traditional lab tests as it is fast, reliable, cheaper, and less time-consuming.
  2. How it Works: You can get an at home testosterone test by ordering online. The ordering process is similar to other home tests with an expected delivery date between 5-7 days. 
  3. Cost: Home testosterone test kits usually range between $30–$69.
  4. Results: The results of typical home testosterone tests are obtained by measuring at least four biomarkers. Each level contributes to getting the exact quantitative level of testosterone. The biomarker level signifies the concentration of that biomarker in your blood. 
  5. Recommended products: Nebula Genomics Testosterone Test [COMING SOON]

What is an at Home Testosterone Test?

At home testosterone tests are majorly marketed to men as they measure the testosterone hormone, which plays a significant role in male sexual development and sexual health. In actuality, both men and women produce some amounts of testosterone by the adrenal glands. At home tests determine testosterone in men and women by measuring specific biomarkers whose results give a comprehensive view of the total testosterone concentration in the body. 

The brain and pituitary gland control the production of the male sex hormone, testosterone, by the testes. During puberty, raising testosterone hormone levels in males allows for the development of characteristics such as facial hair and deeper voice. It is also needed to make sperm. Testosterone levels decrease with age. For this reason, older men may be especially interested in testing testosterone levels at home.

Facial hair
Rising testosterone levels during puberty cause male characteristics like facial hair. Pxhere.

With this test, an adult male can determine if noticeable difficulties with physical and/or sexual performances are due to a low testosterone level. The home testosterone kit company usually provides recommendations for ways to build testosterone to a normal level if the results are too low.

An at home test usually uses saliva samples, but some require blood samples.

Symptoms of low testosterone

Testosterone levels decrease with age, meaning that older men tend to have lower levels. However, men of any age may experience a condition called Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) or Low Testosterone (Low-T). These disorders occur when the body does not naturally make enough testosterone. Some common health problems include:

  • erectile dysfunction
  • lowered sex drive
  • decreased muscle mass
  • the decreased growth of body hair
  • fatigue
  • hot flashes
  • trouble concentrating

While there are at least four biomarkers for determining testosterone level, most home test kits only measure one to give results. The four popular markers include:

Total testosterone levels: This marker directly measures the testosterone in your blood and is the most popular home kit measurement.  

Free testosterone: This is another major marker and can be used to determine the amount of testosterone bioactive and ready for the body to use. In women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), the levels of free testosterone will be elevated.

Sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG): a protein that binds to, transports, and inhibits the function of testosterone.

Albumin: the most abundant protein in your blood, albumin binds to and transports hormones, including testosterone. When bound to albumin, testosterone is not as available for the body to use as when it is free; thus, albumin inhibits the function of testosterone. 

How Much Does an at Home Testosterone Test Cost?

There are various home test kit companies that you can order a testosterone kit from. However, it is essential to note that no two companies sell at the same price as every brand is different, and some provide more comprehensive results than others.

Before ordering a kit, you will want to consider the factor of price and accuracy. A cheap test kit with inaccurate results can cause either unwarranted anxiety or not enough action. Also, while you may get an accurate test kit from a reputable organization, you would want to ensure that it is not overly expensive. One of the benefits of an at-home testosterone test is that they tend to be cheaper to traditional lab tests. 

This section will consider the prices of some of the top test companies that have an excellent track record of selling accurate test kits.

EverlyWell: The EverlyWell at home testosterone test costs $49 and measures the free testosterone biomarker. However, as with all EverlyWell test kits, customers with a membership plan can get it for $24.99, which saves them a total of 58% of the initial asking cost.

EverlyWell at home testosterone test
EverlyWell at home testosterone test

Grassroots Lab: The Grassroots Lab offers four versions of its at home testosterone test, each measuring different biomarkers.

  • Testosterone – Total: $20
  • Testosterone – Total – Male: $25 
  • Testosterone Free and Total: $55
  • Testosterone – Free, Total (MS) & Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG): $123
Grassroots Lab at home testosterone testing price
Grassroots Labs pricing and disclaimer

In addition, this company offers testosterone testing as part of larger male hormone tests that measure 3-13 important biomarkers. These panels are recommended for patients actively being diagnosed or treated for hormone conditions or for those monitoring hormone levels/

  • Male Hormone Panel – Basic: In addition to total testosterone, this test also measures two other hormones, prolactin and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which are important to overall male health. This test currently costs $52.
  • Male Hormone Panel – Plus: In addition to total testosterone, this test also measures four other hormones, DHEA sulfate, prolactin, prostate specific antigen, and TSH. This test currently costs $97.
  • Male Hormone Therapy Panel: In addition to total testosterone, this test also measures 12 other biomarkers including a comprehensive metabolic panel w/ eGFR, a complete blood count with differential and platelets, DHEA sulfate, estradiol, luteinizing hormone (LH), prostate specific antigen, TSH, T3 Free, T3 Total,  T4 Free, Cardio IQ® Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy, and a lipid panel. This comprehensive test cost $264.

Imaware: The Imaware at home testosterone test costs $69. The company kit is designed for males and tests only the total testosterone marker.

Getting Started with an at Home Testosterone Test

Testosterone is a hormone that is more dominant in males than in females, so it is expected that most test kits are designated mainly for males. 

The at home testosterone test can be easily performed. You should first ensure that you order your kit from a reputable company with a track record of accurate results. Then, you must follow the steps in the instruction manual, taking particular care to follow any fasting or drinking steps in preparation. An excellent test kit would provide a reliable result that matches that of the traditional in-office lab test.

Unlike other home test kits with almost the same materials across brands, the testosterone kit may differ in how the sample is collected among different companies. 

For kits that require saliva samples, such as EverlyWell, the materials generally include the following:

  • Saliva tube
  • Biohazard bag
  • Pre-paid return shipping bag

For kits that require blood tests, such as Grassroots Labs and Imaware, the materials generally include the following:

  • A DIY instruction manual
  • An activation card
  • A medical grade collection card (Also known as test cards)
  • Envelope for returning both cards
  • Lancets (finger pricking equipment)
  • Wool
  • Gauze pad
  • Bandage
  • Alcohol swab
Contents of an at home blood sampling kit
Contents for blood sampling from an Imaware kit

Whether the kit you ordered requires a saliva or blood sample, most kit companies would need you to register your kit online to get a code that you can use to access updates on whether your cards have been received. You can also use it to view your results online if it is not sent directly to your mail or phone.

It is generally recommended that you do not eat any food or take any liquid (except water) 8 hours before performing the test. For most people, this means that the best time to take the test is in the morning while ensuring that the time of the last meal, the previous day, is no less than 8 hours.

You must also ensure that you are not taking hormone supplements, as they could heavily influence the result.

Performing an at Home Testosterone Test

Blood sample

The Imaware testosterone test kit requires a blood sample for its test and uses the finger prick method. All popular test kit companies require that one of the two thumbs should be pierced. The process of the test is as follows:

  • Wash and prep the right thumb
  • Use the lancet to prick and apply pressure so the blood colts at the opening
  • Place a drop (or several) of blood on the collection card
  • Place the card on their package and mail it to the company designated address

Saliva sample

Both the EverlyWell and Grassroots companies use the saliva sample method. The process of performing the test includes the following.

  • Following the instructions, spit inside the saliva tube
  • Place it in the biohazard bag and mail it to the company

At Home Testosterone Test Results

The testosterone test results are pretty basic to understand, and the result will largely depend on the type of testosterone measured. The results platform will normally compare your levels to those of a reference range and classify your results as low, normal, or high. As with any health test, you should consult with a health care professional for interpretation or confirmation of your results. They may recommend courses of treatment that include testosterone replacement therapy. You can read more about testosterone therapy options on our blog!

For EverlyWell, the marker measured is the free testosterone. The ideal range is between 49 to 185 mg/dl. Values lower than this indicate that testosterone production is insufficient, while a higher number implies abnormally high testosterone level.

EverlyWell testosterone result measuring the free testosterone biomarker
EverlyWell testosterone result measuring the free testosterone biomarker

On the other hand, Imaware measures the biomarker total testosterone, which is considered adequate at levels 400mg/dl or higher.

Imaware testosterone result at normal level
Imaware testosterone result at normal level

It’s important to remember that other lifestyle factors may affect your results, such as body fat and alcohol consumption.

Nebula Genomics

[Coming Soon]

Starting in Summer 2021, you will be able to take an at-home testosterone test with Nebula Genomics and integrate your results with your whole-genome sequencing data. Using data from both your biomarkers and your genes, you will be able to discover more insights about your personalized testosterone test. Get your entire genome sequenced today!

You may also be interested in these other wellness tests you can take from home: