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Prolactin is a hormone that is found in both males and females. But it is a hormone that is present in more concentration and also comes with a higher functionality within the females only. Prolactin hormone secretion is controlled by the pituitary gland. Prolactin hormone in pregnancy will rise dramatically. The prolactin hormone has a major function in making the breast size in females grow and for the mammary glands to start producing milk.
If doctors diagnose and test the levels of prolactin hormone in females then it will be considerably high during the pregnancy and even during post-pregnancy times.
In this article, we are also going to find out more about the situation of prolactinoma which comes in when you are suffering from high levels of prolactin hormone. We will see how this situation may come to being and what are its effects on both the female and the male bodies.
Doctors may sometimes conduct the prolactin hormone test if in case the levels of prolactin hormone are abnormally higher than usual both during times of non-pregnancy and pregnancy.
The first thing for the doctors is to check if the patient is having prolactinoma or excess prolactin hormone secretion. The other reason that it can be conducted is that sometimes the female patient might be having period irregularities or might be experiencing infertility.
In men too doctors may conduct a test to check out the levels of prolactin hormone which could be for cases of male patients reporting a low sexual drive and experiencing difficulties and maintaining a hard erection.
Ideally, the levels of prolactin hormone in pregnancy periods are high. It is only a matter of problem if you are not pregnant and experiencing some of the symptoms which might indicate a hyperprolactinemia disorder.
Well, these symptoms for the females include nipple discharges, production of breast milk even if you are not breastfeeding your baby, headaches, vision changes, not being able to get pregnant, missing out on normal time for periods, and in frequency too.
For the males there could be a loss of manly features such as facial hair loss, reducing the number of muscles, and enlargement of breasts.
Well, after you have attained the menopause stage a rise in your prolactin hormone may likely lead you to more severe problems. Doctors say that if hyperprolactinemia occurs after attaining menopause it may most likely lead the female patient to hypothyroidism or a situation where your body is producing less amount of thyroid hormone than it should.
We have already told you that the hormone although more functional in females is also present in males.
You need to make an appointment with a clinical center or visit your doctor to share your experience. The test for prolactin hormone in pregnancy or during non-pregnancy is carried out in the same way. And it is determined by way of a simple blood test. So the doctors may take out some blood from your vein using a syringe. It is at this time that you may experience slight prickle pain.
The ideal time for conducting the test is during the early morning hours. This is because that is when the prolactin hormone levels are at their peak.
Just one thing that is to guide for the test is that you must inform the doctors if you are taking any sort of medicines. Some medicines may raise the levels of prolactin hormone in pregnancy. To give you some examples of such pills will be birth control pills, high pressure reducing pills, and antidepressant pills.
In case you are experiencing higher levels of prolactin and the same is diagnosed through the reports of the prolactinoma tests. You will have to visit the doctors again for finding and getting adapt to treatment.
So, the first treatment that you can undertake for hyperprolactinemia is the use of some medicines. Medicines that work as dopamine agonists will help in reducing higher levels of prolactin hormone. It can also help in reducing tumors that are causing the problem in the first place. It is one of the most common forms of treatment for curing hyperprolactinemia.
The other case is to go for surgery. As we have told you above that on most occasions it has been found that there is a tumor on the pituitary gland. This is the cause of the abnormal pituitary gland function invoking improper and higher levels of prolactin hormone secretion.
The other form of treatment is to undertake radiation therapy. Here it is using laser rays that the doctors will shrink the overall size of the tumors. You may have to undergo the radiation therapy process for some time. In some cases, it may sometimes be a little painful.