Prolactin Level Test: Purpose, Procedure, and Results

Understanding prolactin and the prolactin test Prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. It ’ sulfur besides known as PRL or lactogenic hormone. Prolactin is chiefly used to help women produce milk after childbirth. It ’ mho significant for both male and female generative health. The specific function of prolactin in men is not well-known. however, prolactin levels have been used to measure intimate gratification in both men and women. A prolactin level test can reveal other issues caused by the hormone.

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Why is the prolactin test done?


Women with prolactinoma symptoms may need the trial. Prolactinoma is a noncancerous tumor on the pituitary gland that produces high levels of prolactin. Symptoms of prolactinoma in women include :

  • unexplained headaches
  • visual impairment
  • galactorrhea, or lactation outside of childbirth or nursing
  • pain or discomfort during sex
  • abnormal growth of body and facial hair
  • abnormal acne

The test is normally performed on people with prolactinoma to keep track of the tumor ’ s reaction to treatment. In accession, the prolactin test may be needed if you ’ re having fertility problems or irregular periods. The examination can besides rule out early pituitary gland or hypothalamus problems .


world may need the test if they display symptoms of prolactinoma. Symptoms of prolactinoma in men include :

  • unexplained headaches
  • visual impairment
  • reduced sex drive or fertility problems
  • erectile dysfunction
  • abnormal lack of body and facial hair

The examination may besides be used to :

  • investigate testicular dysfunction or erectile dysfunction
  • rule out problems with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus

How is the test carried out?

A prolactin test is precisely like a blood test. It takes a few minutes at your sophisticate ’ second office or in a lab. You don ’ t need to prepare for it. The sample is typically collected three to four hours after waking up in the morning. blood is drawn from a vein in your arm. There ’ s very little pain. You may lone feel a slight pinch when the phonograph needle goes in and some balmy discomfort subsequently. Some give birth command pills, high blood pressure drugs, or antidepressants can affect the test results. Tell your doctor about any medications you ’ re taking before the test is done. Sleeping problems, high stress levels, and arduous use before the screen can besides influence the results.

What are the risks?

The prolactin test carries little risk of complications. You might get a small bruise at the puncture site after blood is drawn. Keep pressure on the web site for a few minutes after the needle is removed to help reduce bruising. You may feel faint or lightheaded. In rare cases, the vein can become inflame after the test, in a condition known as phlebitis. Treat phlebitis with a strong compress applied to the web site several times a day. You may face continued bleeding if you have a bleed perturb. besides, if you ’ re taking blood-thinning medications like aspirin or warfarin, tell your doctor before the test is performed .

What are normal results?

Your repair will assess whether your results are normal based on many factors, including your general health. Prolactin values can vary slenderly among different labs. normal results normally look like the follow ( ng/mL = nanograms per milliliter ) :Women who are not pregnant< 25 ng/mLWomen who are pregnant34 to 386 ng/mLMales< 15 ng/mL

What do high levels mean?

broken levels of prolactin are normally not a refer in women or men. however, very high levels of prolactin, known as hyperprolactinemia, can indicate a deeper issue. About 10 percentage of the population has hyperprolactinemia. high levels of prolactin are convention during pregnancy and after childbirth during nurse. however, hyperprolactinemia can besides be caused by anorexia nervosa, liver-colored disease, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism. hypothyroidism can cause expansion of the pituitary gland, which is treatable with thyroid hormone refilling therapy. high levels of prolactin can besides be caused by pituitary tumors. These tumors can be treated medically or surgically. Certain medications can cause high prolactin levels. Psychiatric drugs such as risperidone and haloperidol can increase your levels. Metoclopramide can besides raise your prolactin levels. This medication is normally used to treat acid reflux or nausea caused by cancer drugs. Some coarse stressors can besides raise prolactin levels. These stressors include first gear blood carbohydrate, strenuous exercise activities, and evening mild forms of discomfort. If you find out that your prolactin levels are high, you may need to find ways to reduce your stress and keep your rake boodle at reproducible levels. crimson clover, fenugreek, or fennel can raise your prolactin levels. Avoid eating anything with these ingredients if you find out you have high prolactin levels.

Prolactin and fertility

In some cases, high prolactin levels can lead to sterility. Prolactinoma tumors can put pressure on your pituitary gland and stop the production of hormones. This discipline is known as hypopituitarism. In men, this causes a lower sex campaign and a loss of body hair. In women, it can lead to sterility. Hyperprolactinemia can make it difficult for a charwoman to get fraught. high prolactin levels can interrupt the normal production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This can cause the ovaries to release egg irregularly or stop altogether. Medications and early prolactinoma treatments help restore birthrate in most women. If you find out you have high prolactin levels or prolactinoma tumors, talk to your doctor right field away about treatments. You can besides ask about removing or reducing tumors.

Treatment for high prolactin levels

dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine ( Parlodel and Cycloset ) are the most coarse treatment for gamey levels of prolactin. These medications help the genius produce dopamine to control high prolactin levels. They can besides shrink prolactinoma tumors. Your doctor may recommend that you take cabergoline. Cabergoline is a newer prolactinoma treatment with meek side effects than other common prolactinoma medications. Talk to your doctor about cabergoline if you face severe side effects from other treatments, including bromocriptine. not everyone ’ mho prolactin levels will respond well to dopamine agonists. Your repair may suggest radiotherapy if those medications don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate help your prolactin levels or prolactinoma. Your sophisticate may suggest surgery if medicine doesn ’ metric ton shrink your tumor. operation can be performed through the intrude or the amphetamine skull. Surgery and medicine together can bring your prolactin levels back to normal. other steps you can take to lower your prolactin levels include :

  • changing your diet and keeping your stress levels down
  • stopping high-intensity workouts or activities that overwhelm you
  • avoiding clothing that makes your chest uncomfortable
  • avoiding activities and clothing that overstimulate your nipples
  • taking vitamin B-6 and vitamin E supplements

Vitamin B-6 is character of the dopamine production serve, and higher levels can reduce prolactin levels. Vitamin E naturally prevents rises in prolactin levels. Talk to your doctor or dietician before changing your inhalation of vitamins or other supplements. Read more about the B vitamins »


Your doctor will probable refer you to an endocrinologist if you have a condition related to high prolactin levels. An endocrinologist can help guide you through treatment or surgeries. Your doctor may request an MRI scan to check if a prolactinoma tumor is causing your prolactin levels to rise. Your repair will prescribe medicine to shrink any existing tumor. sometimes there ’ sulfur no particular cause for your high prolactin levels. This is known as idiopathic hyperprolactinemia. It normally goes away without treatment after several months. If your prolactin levels do not go down, your doctor will probable prescribe medication.

It ’ s possible to get fraught while you receive treatment for gamey prolactin levels. If this happens, tell your doctor or endocrinologist right away. They may tell you to stop taking your medicine. however, don ’ metric ton stop taking your medication until you ’ re told to do thus. Prolactinoma and hyperprolactinemia are not dangerous. The worst side effects of medications normally go aside after treatment. Infertility caused by high prolactin levels can be reversed once prolactin levels return to normal. Your quality of biography will remain high even if you need long-run treatment .

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