Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, primarily associated with lactation in females. It plays a role in fertility, regulates the immune system, and impacts sexual satisfaction. High levels can cause symptoms like irregular periods or infertility, while low levels might affect milk production post-pregnancy....


Who would benefit from testing their prolactin levels?

Individuals experiencing fertility issues, irregular menstrual cycles, or unexplained lactation should consider testing prolactin levels. It’s also beneficial for those with symptoms of pituitary disorders, such as headaches or vision problems, and men with symptoms of low testosterone.

What are symptoms of low or high prolactin?

High Prolactin:

    • Irregular menstrual cycles
    • Galactorrhea (unusual milk production)
    • Infertility
    • Decreased libido
    • Erectile dysfunction in men

Low Prolactin:

    • Poor milk production post-pregnancy
    • Reduced body hair
    • Low blood sugar

What is the relationship between prolactin and sleep?

Prolactin levels naturally rise during sleep, particularly during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase. This increase is linked to the circadian rhythm and sleep quality. Disrupted sleep patterns can lead to abnormal prolactin levels, which in turn may affect overall hormonal balance and sleep quality. Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining normal prolactin levels.

How does prolactin interact with other hormones in the body?

Prolactin interacts with various hormones in the body. It can inhibit the secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), affecting fertility hormones like estrogen and testosterone. Prolactin also interacts with hormones that regulate stress (cortisol) and thyroid function. These interactions can influence reproductive health, stress responses, and metabolic processes.

Test(s) that measure/test for Prolactin

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