Prolactin Test

What is a Prolactin Test?

A prolactin (PRL) test determines the concentration of prolactin in the blood. The pituitary gland, a tiny gland near the base of the brain, produces prolactin. During pregnancy and after birth, prolactin stimulates breast growth and milk production. Prolactin levels are often elevated in pregnant women and new moms. Nonpregnant women and males often have low levels. When prolactin levels are greater than the normal level, it generally indicates the presence of a prolactinoma, a form of pituitary gland tumor. This causes the gland to release an excessive amount of prolactin. Excess prolactin in women can cause breast milk production in those who are not pregnant or nursing. Too much prolactin production in women can potentially cause menstruation issues and infertility. It can cause decreased sex desire and erectile dysfunction in males (ED). ED, often known as impotence, is the inability to obtain or keep an erection. Prolactinomas are typically harmless (noncancerous). However, if left untreated, these can cause harm to the neighboring tissues.

What is the use of Prolactin Test?

Prolactin tests are most commonly used for:

  • Prolactinoma detection (a type of tumor of the pituitary gland)
  • Assist in determining the reason for a woman's menstrual irregularity and infertility.
  • Assist in determining the reason for a man's low-sex desire and erectile dysfunction.

What is the need for a prolactin-level test?

If you experience signs of prolactinoma, you may require this test. Symptoms could include:

Other symptoms vary depending on whether you're a male or a female. If you are a woman, your symptoms will also be affected by whether or not you have gone through menopause. Menopause normally begins around the age of 50 for a woman.

Excess prolactin symptoms in women who have not gone through menopause are:

Women who have had menopause may not have symptoms until the problem progresses. Excess prolactin after menopause frequently results in hypothyroidism. The body does not produce enough thyroid hormone in this situation.

Symptoms of excess prolactin in men include:

  • Nipple discharge
  • Low sex drive
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decrease in body hair

What happens during a prolactin level test?

During a prolactin level test a small needle will be used by a healthcare expert to draw blood from a vein. After the insertion of the needle, a little amount of blood will be collected in a test tube or vial. You may feel a slight sting or discomfort when the needle goes in or out. This normally takes five minutes.

How to prepare for the test?

This test should be taken three to four hours after waking up. Prolactin levels fluctuate throughout the day but are typically highest in the early morning. Make sure your doctor is aware of any medications you are taking. Certain medications can cause an increase in prolactin levels. Birth control drugs, blood pressure medication, and antidepressants are examples.

Is there any risk in the test?

No, there is no such major risk or danger associated with the test. You may experience discomfort or bruising where the needle was inserted, it will go soon.

What do the findings imply?

If your prolactin levels are greater than usual, you may have one of the following conditions:

  • Prolactinoma
  • Hypothyroidism
  • A condition affecting the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a brain region that regulates the pituitary gland and other bodily processes.
  • The illness of the liver

If your prolactin levels are high, your doctor may conduct an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) examination to examine your pituitary gland in more detail. Prolactin levels that are too high can be addressed with medication or surgery. If you have any concerns about your results, speak with your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Prolactin Test?

A prolactin level test is used to diagnose a prolactinoma (a type of tumor in the pituitary gland) and assist in determining the reason of a woman's menstrual irregularity and infertility. Assist in determining the source of a man's low-sex desire and erectile dysfunction.

2. What happens if Prolactin Test levels are high?

A high level of prolactin inhibits the synthesis of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. In females, too much prolactin can potentially prevent the release of an egg during the menstrual cycle (anovulation). Too much prolactin in guys can also contribute to reduced sperm production and bone deterioration (osteoporosis)

3. What is the normal range for Prolactin Test?

The normal range for prolactin in:

  • Males: 2 to 18 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL)
  • Nonpregnant females: 2 to 29 ng/mL.
  • Pregnant females: 10 to 209 ng/mL.

4. Does Prolactin cause weight gain?

Yes, high levels of prolactin can also result in weight gain.

5. When is the ideal time to have a Prolactin Test?

Prolactin levels can be examined at any time throughout your menstrual cycle. Prolactin levels fluctuate throughout the day, but they are highest when you are sleeping and first thing in the morning; thus the test is normally performed three hours after you get up.

6. Can Prolactin cause infertility?

Yes, prolactin can be the reason for infertility in women and also in men.

7. Is it necessary to fast before taking a Prolactin Test?

Yes, one must fast for 8 to 12 hours without eating before the test, however, you can drink water before the test.

8. What Prolactin level causes infertility?

Prolactin levels above 100 ng/mL can disrupt a woman's reproductive system's normal function, resulting in menopausal symptoms and infertility.

9. What is the cost of the Prolactin Test?

The cost of the Prolactin Test is approximately Rs. 600 however it can vary due to certain factors like place or hospital.

10. Where can I get a Prolactin Test in Hyderabad?

You can avail Prolactin Test at Medicover Hospitals. It offers a wide range of diagnostic facilities.