1 June 2022 | Dr. Raj Joshi (MBChB, MRCGP, Dip Mtn Med, Dip FIPT, FRGS)

Serum Hormone Testing vs. Saliva Hormone Testing for Men

Serum Hormone Testing vs. Saliva Hormone Testing for Men

Hormonal balance plays a crucial role in men's overall health and well-being. When evaluating male hormone levels, two common methods used are serum hormone testing and saliva hormone testing. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each of these methods.

Serum Hormone Testing

Serum hormone testing is a widely used method in clinical settings for assessing male hormone levels. Here are some benefits of serum hormone testing:

  1. Established Clinical Use: Serum hormone testing is a well-established and widely accepted method in medical practice. It is routinely used to assess male hormone levels, making it readily accessible and familiar to healthcare professionals.

  2. Comprehensive Hormone Assessment: Blood samples offer a comprehensive analysis of male hormones, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) which are involved in the regulation of testosterone production. LH and FSH levels are important indicators when evaluating male hormone status, particularly in cases where there may be concerns about testicular function, hormonal imbalances, or fertility issues. While serum hormone testing commonly includes LH and FSH measurements, these hormones aren’t able to be measured in saliva.

  3. Monitoring Treatment Efficacy: Serum hormone testing is useful for monitoring the effectiveness of hormone replacement therapy or other interventions aimed at restoring hormone balance in men. Regular testing helps healthcare professionals fine-tune treatment plans based on measured hormone levels.

Saliva Hormone Testing

While less commonly used in clinical practice, saliva testing offers specific advantages for assessing male hormones:

  1. Non-Invasive Sampling: Saliva collection is non-invasive and can be done at home. This provides convenience and eliminates the need for a blood draw, which may be preferred by some individuals.

  2. Reflects Active Hormone Levels: Saliva hormone testing measures the levels of unbound, biologically active hormones. This can provide insights into the hormones that are readily available for physiological functions in the body.

While both serum hormone testing and saliva hormone testing have their advantages, serum hormone testing is generally considered the gold standard due to its established reference ranges and widespread clinical use.

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Dr. Raj Joshi (MBChB, MRCGP, Dip Mtn Med, Dip FIPT, FRGS)
Raj is a Primary Care Physician and qualified Personal Trainer who practises transformative medicine. He trained in the UK and is the Travel Medicine Director of The Centre for Health and Human Performance in London. Raj's philosophy centres around how lifestyle can influence disease and how positive changes can be used to help prevent illness or as a significant component in treating medical conditions. He believes that to be truly healthy one should not just stay disease free, but optimise health to be as fit as possible.