What Is A Prolactin Test? A prolactin (PRL) test measures the level of prolactin in the blood. Prolactin is a hormone made by the pituitary gland, a small gland at the base of the brain. Prolactin causes the breasts to grow and make milk during pregnancy and after birth. Prolactin levels are normally high for pregnant women and new mothers.

When should prolactin be tested? A blood prolactin test is usually done about 3 hours after you wake up, sometime between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Emotional stress or strenuous exercise just before the test can raise prolactin levels. You may be asked to rest quietly for up to 30 minutes before having your blood drawn.

What are the symptoms of high prolactin levels? Symptoms include irregular or absent menstrual periods, infertility, menopausal symptoms (hot flashes and vaginal dryness), and, after several years, osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of the bones). High prolactin levels can also cause milk discharge from the breasts.

What level of prolactin indicates a tumor? A prolactin level above normal obtained without excessive venipuncture-induced stress confirms the diagnosis. Prolactin levels associated with stress or dopamine antagonists are usually below 100 μg/dl. A prolactin level greater than 250 μg/dl usually indicates the presence of a prolactinoma.

What’s normal prolactin level?

The normal values for prolactin are: Men: less than 20 ng/mL (425 µg/L) Nonpregnant women: less than 25 ng/mL (25 µg/L) Pregnant women: 80 to 400 ng/mL (80 to 400 µg/L)

Why would a doctor order a prolactin test?

A prolactin levels test is most often used to: Diagnose a prolactinoma (a type of tumor of the pituitary gland) Help find the cause of a woman’s menstrual irregularities and/or infertility. Help find the cause of a man’s low sex drive and/or erectile dysfunction.

Does prolactin cause weight gain?

High levels of prolactin can also result in weight gain and neuropsychological disturbances.

What is the main cause of high prolactin?

Causes of Abnormal Prolactin Levels Prolactinoma (a benign tumor in your pituitary gland that produces too much prolactin) Diseases affecting the hypothalamus(the part of the brain that controls the pituitary gland) Anorexia(an eating disorder) Drugs that are used to treat depression, psychosis, and high blood pressure.

What causes high prolactin in females?

Its hormones help regulate important functions such as growth, metabolism, blood pressure and reproduction. Other possible causes of prolactin overproduction include medications, other types of pituitary tumors, an underactive thyroid gland, ongoing irritation to the chest, pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Does high prolactin always mean tumor?

This kind of tumor is called a prolactinoma. It’s the most common type of pituitary tumor and is most often benign, which means it’s not cancer. A new mom’s prolactin levels go up every time their baby nurses. But for men or women who aren’t nursing, high prolactin in the blood can be a sign of a prolactinoma.

Can high prolactin cause tiredness?

Rarely, the prolactinoma may press on the rest of the pituitary gland, stopping it from producing other hormones. This can cause symptoms such as tiredness, fainting, low blood pressure, low blood sugar or collapse.

Can stress cause high prolactin levels?

2) Stress. Our brain releases prolactin (PRL) in response to stress, and it’s a common cause of high prolactin, especially in men [17]. If you feel stressed during blood sampling, you PRL levels can transiently rise. This is known as stress-related hyperprolactinemia.

Can you have high prolactin and not have a tumor?

“Patients with high prolactin levels who have few or no symptoms and no demonstrable pituitary tumor may not need treatment, but infertile or pregnant patients, and individuals with bothersome symptoms require specialized treatment depending on the cause of their condition,” Melmed said in a press release.

Does prolactin affect mood?

Overall, the results suggest that prolactin is associated with specific psychological symptoms including somatization, anxiety, hostility, paranoid ideation and psychoticism, especially in females, rather than a general indication of depressive symptom severity, and may represent a transdiagnostic hormonal phenotype.

Can someone with high prolactin get pregnant?

Too much prolactin can also inhibit the secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH — the hormone that stimulates the ovarian follicles to mature. Without FSH, there’s no ovulation — and without ovulation, it’s impossible to get pregnant.

Does PCOS cause high prolactin?

Some women with PCOS do have elevated prolactin levels, typically falling within the 25-40 ng/ml range. ANDRO is a hormone that is produced by the ovaries and adrenal glands. Sometimes high levels of this hormone can affect estrogen and testosterone levels. Normal ANDRO levels are between 0.7 3.1 ng/ml.

How long does it take to get prolactin test results?

The blood sample will be processed by a machine. The results are commonly available in 1-2 days.

What level of prolactin causes infertility?

Prolactin levels over 100 ng/mL can alter the normal function of a woman’s reproductive system, causing symptoms of menopause (absence of menstrual periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness) and infertility.

How do you treat high prolactin levels?

The most commonly used medicines are cabergoline and bromocriptine. Your doctor will start you on a low dose of one of these medications and slowly increase the dose until your prolactin levels go back to normal.

Does prolactin make it hard to lose weight?

“It is true that higher [prolactin] production slows down your metabolism. It doesn’t prevent weight loss; but some women reach a plateau,” says Meghna Joshi.

Is it hard to lose weight with high prolactin levels?

In adult patients weight gain is a frequent complaint of hyperprolactinaemia and it has been associated with a high prevalence of obesity. Normalization of prolactin (PRL) levels result in weight loss. The nature of this link is poorly defined.

Does prolactin affect sleep?

Prolactin (PRL) is one of the growth factors that influences sleep. It is unique as a growth-sleep factor in that its primary action is to promote rapid eye movement sleep (REMS; also called paradoxical sleep).

What does a pituitary headache feel like?

Headache pain in these situations is typically characterized by steady, bifrontal or unilateral frontal aching (ipsilateral to tumor). In some instances, pain is localized in the midface (either because of involvement of the second division of the trigeminal or secondary to sinusitis).

Can prolactin be cured?

It usually goes away without treatment after several months. If your prolactin levels do not go down, your doctor will likely prescribe medication. It’s possible to get pregnant while you receive treatment for high prolactin levels.

Does prolactin affect blood pressure?

In humans, several studies have shown that increased levels of prolactin are associated with elevated arterial pressure (18, 19).

Is prolactin a stress hormone?

Prolactin (PRL) is one of the most versatile hormones known. It is considered an adaptive hormone due to the key roles it plays in the modulation of the stress response and during pregnancy and lactation.