Prolactin (Blood) – Health Encyclopedia – University of Rochester Medical Center

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Prolactin (Blood)

Does this test have other names?

PRL examination

What is this test?

This examination measures the level of prolactin in your blood. Prolactin is a hormone made by the pituitary gland, which is in your brain. In women who are pregnant, prolactin stimulates the breasts to make breastmilk .
If the prolactin-making cells in your pituitary gland begin to grow out of control, they can form tumors ( prolactinomas ). Prolactinomas, besides known as lactotroph adenoma, are often not cancer. They happen most much in women younger than 50. One symptom of a prolactinoma tumor is producing breastmilk even if you ‘re not fraught. In men, prolactinomas may cause perturb getting or keeping an erecting ( impotence ) or lower sex drive.

If you are diagnosed with a prolactinoma, your healthcare provider may give you a medicine called a dopamine agonist, such as bromocriptine or cabergoline. Cabergoline works well and has been shown to cut prolactin levels in most people with prolactinomas. Cabergoline besides reduces the size of prolactinoma tumors .

Why do I need this test?

You may need this examination if your healthcare provider believes that you have a prolactinoma tumor. Symptoms of this type of tumor include :

  • menstruation of breastmilk in a charwoman who ‘s not fraught or nurse
  • Breast discomfort in women
  • enlarge breasts in men
  • Lower sex tug
  • Headache

    Read more: ED

  • impotence in men
  • imagination changes

What other tests might I have along with this test?

You may besides need an MRI scan of your brain to check for a prolactinoma. You may besides need blood tests to look for early hormones made by the pituitary gland. These include thyroid-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone .

What do my test results mean?

Test results may vary depending on your long time, gender, health history, the method used for the trial, and other things. Your quiz results may not mean you have a problem. Ask your healthcare supplier what your test results mean for you .
Results are given in micrograms per liter ( µg/L ). A convention blood degree of prolactin in a nonpregnant charwoman is less than 20 µg/L. In men, the normal degree is less than 15µg/L. If your test solution shows an abnormally high prolactin charge, you may need imaging tests to find out if you have a prolactinoma tumor .

How is this test done?

The test is done with a blood sample. A phonograph needle is used to draw blood from a vein in your arm or hand.

Does this test pose any risks?

Having a blood test with a needle carries some risks. These include shed blood, contagion, bruise, and feeling lightheaded. When the needle pricks your sleeve or hand, you may feel a slight sting or annoyance. Afterward, the site may be afflictive .

What might affect my test results?

Certain psychiatric medicines, oral estrogen medicines, cocaine pervert, and opioid medicines may cause prolactin levels to be higher than normal. If you have kidney or liver disease, you may besides have high prolactin levels .

How do I get ready for this test?

You will need to fast ( not eat or drink anything but water ) for about 12 hours before the test. . be certain your healthcare supplier knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that do n’t need a prescription and any illegal drugs you may use .

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