We get it. Symptoms of low testosterone like fatigue, irritability, and low libido will leave you feeling like crap—which makes scheduling a midday in-person doctor’s appointment feel like that much more of a hassle.
But DIY-ing your diagnosis isn’t the solution.
Members of the r/Testosterone subreddit are passing around online quizzes that claim to calculate your testosterone levels based on habits like sleep and exercise frequency, age, and body fat percentage. While these factors are a part of the big picture of your testosterone levels, having these characteristics doesn’t necessarily mean you have low testosterone.
Sure, most of these quizzes and calculators have a medical disclaimer that notes they can’t replace a clinical diagnosis of low testosterone. But given the number of Redditors taking the bait, it’s clear some men are taking their results to heart.
Here’s why you shouldn’t: The only way to determine if you have low T is by taking a blood test that calculates your free and total testosterone levels and then consulting with a doctor to discuss the results and your symptoms.
“There’s more to it than going strictly by the numbers,” says internal medicine physician Danielle McDevitt, M.D.. “The labs are just a guide. You really have to look at the clinical picture and the person individually.”
Why You Shouldn’t Trust TRT Dosage Calculators
They highlight symptoms, not the cause
We just can’t get behind anyone telling you how much testosterone to inject weekly—besides your doctor—even if you have every symptom in the book for low testosterone.
Normal testosterone falls between 300 and 900 ng/dL, according to the American Urological Association. If you are in this range (especially in the 650 to 700 ng/dL sweet spot, per McDevitt) and still experiencing symptoms, there’s likely something else at play.
“There could be different proteins that are chewing up their hormones, or they’re converting their hormones over to other hormones,” McDevitt says. “I want to figure out when—or if—I should recommend hormone therapy. I don’t want to go that route if your testosterone production system is already working well.”
The results are dangerous
A TRT dosage calculator might seem like a good idea if you’ve already received a diagnosis of low testosterone and your doctor has prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. But finding the correct dose to alleviate symptoms should be a collaborative process with your doctor—not with some random online quiz.
That’s especially important to remember if you’re just starting treatment. TRT doesn’t yield results from the first injection, say experts.
“With TRT, most men start to feel better within a few months,” urologist Joshua Calvert previously told The Edge. “Their sex drive is back, they lose weight, build muscle, and have more energy.”
A Better Way to Test Your Testosterone Levels
You don’t even have to get off the couch to get an accurate result. Hone Health’s at-home test measures eight testosterone biomarkers, including free and total testosterone, SHBG, and prolactin levels to get a full picture of your hormonal health.
After you take the at-home assessment, one of Hone Health’s partner physicians will schedule a telehealth appointment to go over your results. If your numbers are low, you’ll discuss treatment options including TRT via troches, injections, or creams.