How Does a Urologist Test for Low Testosterone?

How Does a Urologist Test for Low Testosterone?

by Yenny (SU)

Are you noticing a drop in muscle mass, sex drive, and energy? If yes, it is high time that you get tested for your testosterone level by a skilled urologist in Phoenix.

Testosterone is the primary sex hormone in men. It is responsible for maintaining sex drive, sperm production, muscle mass, facial hair, and other male physical characteristics. Having a low testosterone (low-T) level therefore interferes with normal male sexual development and functions. Proper and early diagnosis and treatment of low-T in adult men helps minimize various unwanted symptoms.

To diagnose low testosterone, your urologist relies on both clinical examination and laboratory tests. Let’s talk about how a urologist evaluates and treats low-T, and where you can go to find the best urologist in Phoenix who can solve your men’s health issues.

Evaluating Your Medical History for Low-T Symptoms

The urologist will talk to you about your and your family's medical history and discuss your current symptoms, which will help the doctor have a clear picture of how low testosterone is affecting you. The urologist may ask a few questions about your current or past illnesses, genetic conditions in your family, sex drive, and erectile dysfunction (if any).

What Is Involved in the Physical Exam?

During a physical exam, the urologist will look for signs of low testosterone levels, including the following:

·       Pattern, amount, and location of body hair

·       Size of scrotum, penis, and breasts

·       Size of prostate

·       Waist circumference or BMI (body mass index)

·       Muscle strength

Laboratory Tests to Check Testosterone Levels

Your urologist may order one or more of the following blood tests to diagnose low testosterone and underlying causes:

  •   Testosterone level test

This test is the most important blood test to specifically detect low testosterone. Testosterone levels fluctuate throughout the day; therefore, a blood sample is taken in the morning to avoid fluctuation. The test is often performed on at least two different days to confirm the result.

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test

LH stimulates testosterone production, while FSH is involved in sperm production. These tests are performed to find the cause of low testosterone levels. Having high LH and FSH levels but a low testosterone level indicates a testicular problem. In contrast, low LH and FSH levels indicate problems associated with the pituitary gland. Age-related low testosterone typically has normal LH and FSH levels, which usually indicates that having testosterone-replacement therapy may be a good solution.

  •   Blood prolactin level test

Prolactin hormone is secreted by the pituitary gland, and this is measured to help the urologist determine if a pituitary problem may be associated with the low testosterone level. A high blood prolactin level is an indication of a pituitary problem such as a tumor. High prolactin may also interfere with normal testicular function. 

Your urologist may also order tests to measure blood hemoglobin, estradiol hormone, and semen analysis, depending on your health and symptoms.

Non-Laboratory Tests for Low-T

If the hormone and semen tests are inconclusive, your urologist may order scanning tests, such as the following:

  • MRI

Your urologist may order an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of the brain to check the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.

  • Bone density test

Since a low testosterone level often alters bone density, your urologist may recommend that you have a bone density test.

  • Genetic test

Various inherited conditions can also be associated with low testosterone levels. A genetic test can help the doctor understand your genetic makeup associated with possible low testosterone levels or related issues.

Experienced Urologist in Phoenix, AZ

An accurate and early diagnosis of low-T opens the door to future care and proper treatment. If you think you might have low testosterone and want a diagnosis from the best urologist in Phoenix, call (480) 961-2323 to make an appointment with Dr. Avila at Ironwood Urology in Phoenix, or you can request one online. We look forward to being your partner in men’s health!