The TRT Check Plus is a venous blood test (which means it must be taken from a vein in your arm) which measures important markers in your blood to help you monitor and manage your testosterone replacement therapy. While testosterone can have a positive impact on strength, libido, sexual performance and mood, there can be risks to health, especially with over-supplementation.
This check includes tests for red and white blood cells, liver and kidney function, cholesterol (high doses of testosterone can reduce HDL "good" cholesterol) and thyroid function. It includes a test for prostate specific antigen (PSA), a protein which can be raised in cases of prostate cancer (although it can be raised in benign conditions as well). Taking TRT does not appear to raise your risk of getting prostate cancer but having high levels of testosterone can make prostate cancer worse. This is why it is important to have a physical examination of your prostate gland before taking TRT. It is also important for men taking TRT to regularly check their PSA levels, but you should be aware that there are shortcomings to testing PSA which are detailed below.
Elevated testosterone can impact levels of other hormones in your body. This profile includes tests for testosterone, free testosterone (calculated), oestradiol, prolactin and SHBG. We recommend taking this test before starting TRT and 6 months after for monitoring purposes.
Extended upper limit. Many testosterone tests will not measure testosterone levels above 52 nmol/L, our test will measure values up to 520 nmol/L. This is especially useful for men who are taking testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) or anabolic steroids and who expect to have supranormal levels of testosterone. Please note, if your reading is above 520nmol/L the lab will not be able to calculate a free testosterone or free androgen index value. If this is the case, you will not be entitled to a refund.
You should understand that this test includes a check on your Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level. Whilst current research indicates that it is unlikely that testosterone replacement therapy increases the risk of prostate cancer, caution is still advised, particularly for men who already have prostate cancer.
Whilst the PSA test can help to detect prostate cancer earlier it has several shortcomings when used as a screening test. Besides being increased by prostate cancer PSA can also be increased by innocent conditions such as urinary tract infection, recent ejaculation and even some forms of exercise.. This means that there is a risk of PSA being positive when no cancer is present (a false positive). If we take 100 men with a high PSA result then approximately 75 of them will have a false positive result, and 25 will have a true positive (i.e. they will have prostate cancer). Currently the most reliable way of working out whether someone has a true positive or a false positive is by performing a prostate biopsy. Because the PSA test has a high false positive rate many of these prostate biopsies will have been unnecessary.
You should also be aware that PSA tests can cause false negative results. This means that the PSA is in the normal range but the person has underlying prostate cancer. PSA levels can remain normal in the early stages of prostate cancer, providing false reassurance. If we test 100 men with prostate cancer then approximately 15 of them would have a normal PSA result (a false negative). In some cases prostate cancer grows very slowly and may never cause symptoms or shorten lifespan, so a significant proportion of the men who receive a true positive result may undergo surgery that they did not need.