Why the Prolactin Test is Performed?

How to Test for Prolactin Levels?

Have you ever wondered why doctors order a prolactin test? What is it, and why is it important? In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind the prolactin test and its significance in diagnosing certain medical conditions.

What is the Prolactin Level?

A prolactin test, also known as a serum prolactin test, measures the level of the hormone prolactin in your blood. Prolactin is naturally produced by the pituitary gland and plays vital roles related to metabolism, reproduction and more.

There are a few key reasons your healthcare provider may order this test:

  • Evaluate the cause of abnormal menstrual cycles or infertility in women
  • Investigate the origin of hypogonadism (low sex hormones) in men
  • Monitor prolactinoma treatment
  • Assess unusual breast milk production
  • Help diagnose pituitary gland tumours

What is the Prolactin Test?

The prolactin test measures the levels of the hormone prolactin in the blood. Prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain. It plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, especially in women.

How to Test for Prolactin Levels?

There are a few different ways to test for prolactin levels:

  1. Blood test: This is the most common method. A sample of blood is drawn, usually from a vein in the arm, and sent to a lab to measure the level of prolactin.
  2. Pregnancy tests: Some pregnancy tests measure prolactin levels along with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. Elevated prolactin can indicate pregnancy.
  3. Prolactin stimulation test: This involves taking a baseline prolactin blood level, giving the patient a medication that stimulates prolactin release, and drawing more blood samples over several hours to see how prolactin responds.
  4. Prolactin suppression test: This is the opposite - taking a baseline level, giving medication to suppress prolactin, and measuring levels again later to see if they decreased appropriately.

The blood test is usually sufficient for screening prolactin levels. Doctors may order the stimulation or suppression tests if the basic blood test results are abnormal or don't align with symptoms to evaluate how the body is regulating prolactin.

Blood samples need to be drawn at specific times as prolactin levels fluctuate throughout the day. Testing is often done early in the morning before eating for best results.

Why the Prolactin Test is Performed?

The prolactin test is performed for several reasons. One of the main reasons is to diagnose and monitor conditions related to the pituitary gland and the reproductive system. High levels of prolactin can indicate the presence of a pituitary tumour, also known as a prolactinoma. This tumour can cause a range of symptoms, including irregular menstrual periods, infertility, and milk production in non-pregnant women.

Additionally, the prolactin test is used to evaluate and manage other conditions such as hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and certain medications that can increase prolactin levels. It is also performed to assess the cause of galactorrhea, a condition characterized by the production of breast milk outside breastfeeding or pregnancy.

What to Expect During the Prolactin Test?

No special preparation is needed for a prolactin blood test. Our friendly phlebotomist will draw a small blood sample and send it to our accredited lab for analysis. Results are usually available within 48 hours.

Video on Serum Prolactin Test

The prolactin test is a valuable tool in diagnosing and managing various medical conditions related to the pituitary gland and the reproductive system. If you are experiencing symptoms such as irregular periods, infertility, or unexpected milk production, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider and discuss the possibility of a prolactin test. Remember, early detection and treatment can make a significant difference in your overall health and well-being.

#prolactinhormone #hyperprolactinemia #prolactinoma

How is Prolactin Blood Test Done?

The prolactin test is a simple blood test. A healthcare professional will draw a small sample of blood from a vein in your arm. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. It is important to follow any specific instructions provided by your doctor, such as fasting before the test or avoiding certain medications that can interfere with the results.

What to Expect from the Prolactin Test Results?

The results of the prolactin test can help your doctor determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. If the prolactin levels are elevated, further tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis and plan the appropriate treatment. Treatment options for high prolactin levels may include medication to shrink the tumour, hormone therapy, or surgery in severe cases.

Reference Range of Prolactin Levels

The reference range for prolactin is different for men and women. Abnormally high levels indicate a condition called hyperprolactinaemia, while very low levels may point to pituitary dysfunction. Our consultants can help interpret your prolactin test results and recommend appropriate treatment if required.


Detecting and addressing prolactin imbalances early is important to maintain reproductive health and prevent pituitary issues. healthcare nt sickcare offers accurate prolactin testing along with post-test counselling. Book your test online today or call +91 9766060629. Investing in quality diagnostics helps optimize patient outcomes.

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