The Prolactin test helps to investigate galactorrhea (unexplained flow of breast milk), abnormal discharge from nipples, irregular or absence of menstrual periods, and/or infertility in women. In men, this test helps to diagnose the cause of erectile dysfunction, decreased libido. This test also detects prolactinoma (a pituitary tumor that produces prolactin) and is also used to monitor the ongoing treatment of prolactinoma.
The Prolactin test is done:
• In case of signs and symptoms of increased levels of prolactin
• In case of infertility problems
• In case of follow-up for treatment of macroprolactin
• In case of low levels of testosterone in men
• To detect and monitor prolactinoma
Frequently asked questions
How is the blood sample taken?
To take the blood sample, a tourniquet (elastic) band is placed tightly on the upper arm. The patient is asked to make a fist. This helps in the buildup of blood filling the veins and it becomes easy to collect the blood. The skin is cleaned before inserting the needle in the vein in order to prevent bacteria from entering. The needle is then inserted into the vein in the arm and the blood sample is collected in the vacutainer.
What is Prolactinoma?
Prolactinoma is a tumor of the pituitary gland that is non-cancerous. In this tumor, the pituitary gland produces an excess of prolactin hormone. This leads to a decrease in estrogen hormone in women and testosterone hormone in men.
What are the signs and symptoms of Prolactinoma in males?
The signs and symptoms of Prolactinoma in males include erectile dysfunction, decrease hair on the face and the body, and enlarged breasts.
What are the signs and symptoms of Prolactinoma in females?
The signs and symptoms of Prolactinoma in females include irregular or absence of menstrual periods, milky discharge from the breasts even if the female is not pregnant or breastfeeding, vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, acne, and excessive hair growth on face and body.
What are the signs and symptoms of Prolactinoma which are seen both in males and females?
The signs and symptoms of Prolactinoma that are seen both in males and females include reduced bone density, loss of interest in sexual activity, headaches, visual disturbances, and infertility.