Testosterone Saliva Test
In men, levels of testosterone begin to decline with age, usually beginning around the mid-40s. In the Hypogonadism in Males (HIM) study, hypogonadism, determined by low testosterone levels and symptoms of androgen deficiency, was diagnosed in 38.7% of men over 45 years old. The decline in testosterone production by the testes can be more precipitous in some men than others. Excessive weight gain, stress, lack of exercise, and many medications can further reduce testosterone levels, leading to symptoms that include low libido, irritability, depression, loss of muscle mass and strength, weight gain, erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, and adverse changes in the blood lipid profile. In women, high testosterone, often caused by ovarian cysts, leads to conditions such as excessive facial and body hair, acne, and oily skin and hair. Low testosterone in postmenopausal women, seen particularly after surgical removal of the ovaries, leads to female symptoms of androgen deficiency including loss of libido, thinning skin, vaginal dryness, and loss of bone and muscle mass. The saliva testosterone reference range in men is 44—148 pg/mL (age-dependent) and for women 16—55 pg/mL.