Are you suffering from infertility? Then, you must check the prolactin hormone levels in your body by performing a prolactin test.
You must be wondering what is prolactin hormone and why am I suggesting a prolactin test.
Don't worry I will discuss the following points in detail that will help you understand about prl test.
- Prolactin Test – Overview
- Why Should You Undergo a Prolactin Test?
- How to interpret the Prolactin test results?
- What are normal vs. high or low prolactin levels?
- All you need to know about the Prolactin test price
- How HealthcareOnTime can help?
But before discussing the above points let me give you a brief about prolactin hormone and its functions in our bodies.
What is Prolactin?
Prolactin is a hormone produced by lactrotrope cells present in anterior pituitary glands.
The production and release of prolactin from the pituitary gland are regulated by dopamine and estrogen. Even the central nervous system, immune system, uterus, and mammary glands contribute to the production of prolactin hormone.
Prolactin levels are low in males and non-lactating and non-pregnant girls. But the level of prolactin hormone increases during pregnancy and childbirth.
Prolactin contributes to numerous functions in our body. Some of them are
- It helps in the development of mammary glands in breasts during pregnancy.
- It stimulates milk production after the delivery of a baby.
- It helps to maintain the lactation process.
- It helps in the metabolism of vitamin D deficiency, calcium, and carbohydrate.
- To some extent, it helps in the secretion of the testosterone hormone in men.
As we can see that prolactin hormone helps us in many ways so we must check that we have the right amount of prolactin hormone in our body.
For this reason, we have a Diagnostic test named the prolactin test that can come to our rescue.
Prolactin Test - Overview
The prolactin test is a simple lab test that is used by medical professionals to check the levels of prolactin hormone in our bodies.
This test is used by healthcare professionals to detect if you have high, low, or normal levels of prolactin hormone.
The Prl test is also used to monitor the functioning of the pituitary glands gland.
There are certain symptoms in men and women that recommend a prl test.
Symptoms in females with low prolactin level includes
- Irregular menstrual cycle or no menstruation
- Painful intercourse due to vaginal dryness
- Milk discharge from the breast without pregnancy (galactorrhea)
- Excessive facial or body hair growth
Symptoms in males due to low prolactin hormone are
- Low sex drive
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased body and facial hair
- In rare cases, enlarged breasts
Common symptoms that can be seen in both men and women include
- Unclear vision
Why Should You Undergo a Prolactin Test?
You must undergo a prl test if you see the above symptoms because those symptoms may indicate the following problems
- Any other pituitary gland tumors
- polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- infection by herpes zoster
- lung cancer
- stress caused by any illness
- trauma to the chest wall
- certain medications like antidepressants, hypertension drugs, acid reflux drugs, drugs with estrogen, and birth control pills
By using the prolactin test we can know the underlying reason for high or low prolactin levels.
By knowing the correct reason the doctors can diagnose and recommend the correct treatment.
How to interpret the Prolactin test results?
Before interpreting the prolactin test results, we must know the normal values of prolactin.
Males: less than 20 ng/mL (425 µg/L)
Nonpregnant females: less than 25 ng/mL (25 µg/L)
Pregnant females: 80 to 400 ng/mL (80 to 400 µg/L)
If you get prl test results deviating from the above values, then you may have high or low levels of prolactin in your body.