Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland involved in milk production during pregnancy. Here is what it means when its level is high.
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Have blood tests shown a prolactin parameter higher than normal? If you are not pregnant or you are not breastfeeding, you should check further.
The normal level of prolactin is indicatively less than 25 ng / mL in women who are not pregnant; in pregnant women in the range 34-386 ng / mL, in men (it is not in fact an exclusively female hormone, men also have it) does not exceed 15 ng / mL.
High prolactin: causes
The causes of a high level of prolactin in women are mainly the fact of being pregnant or breastfeeding, but also a strong stress, fatigue, an excess of sport, thoracic lesions, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism, pituitary disorders, could affect this parameter. For this reason it is good to repeat the blood tests several times to be certain of an anomaly. If repeated tests confirm hyperprolactinemia, it is good to have a pregnancy test and if it is negative, you need to consult a doctor to evaluate the other possibilities, including that there is an adenoma (benign tumor) pituitary, which can be detected. only with an MRI of the skull.
High prolactin: symptoms
The typical symptoms of hyperprolactinemia are the absence of menstruation for more than 6 months (amenorrhea) and the secretion of milk from the nipples (galactorrhea). Since amenorrhea blocks ovulation, the woman momentarily loses her fertility. Loss of sexual desire, turgid breasts, hypogonadism and erectile dysfunction in humans also occur sometimes.
High prolactin: cures
High prolactin is cured according to the cause that generated it and after careful evaluation by the doctor treating the extent of the problem, with a pharmacological, surgical or radiotherapeutic therapy. Generally the first is the most usual option.