Prolactin is a hormone of the human reproductive system. With the help of prolactin, the mammary glands of a woman are regulated; during pregnancy, prolactin is responsible for the availability of milk.
With proper testing, about half of the women show an increased level of this hormone. If you have an irregular menstrual cycle, it also says that you need to check the blood for prolactin.
This analysis is required for women with such indications:
- lack of ovulation or menstruation,
- uterus bleeding,
- chest seals.
Prolactin - preparation for delivery of the analysis
In order to determine the true level of the hormone, blood must be donated for analysis at a certain period of the menstrual cycle, namely, 6-7 days after the onset of menstruation.
In order for the results of the blood test for prolactin to correspond to reality, a special preparation is needed. It is required to exclude activities that contribute to the increase in the level of this hormone.
Most of all, prolactin is produced by sexual arousal, so part of the preparation for the delivery of prolactin will be the exclusion of any sexual relationship. You should also refrain from visiting the sauna, drinking alcohol, do not be nervous and take care of your chest, since any injury of the mammary gland will increase the release of prolactin into the blood. Preparation for delivery of the analysis for prolactin will also be the rejection of breakfast and smoking a few hours before donating blood, as the analysis is performed on an empty stomach.
Already in the handling room, tell the nurse information about your cycle, gestational period, menopause, and the medications you are taking — all of this affects the concentration of the hormone in the blood.
If you have carefully followed all the recommendations and according to the results of the study you have increased this hormone, do not rush to draw conclusions, try to pass the test for prolactin a little later again, in no way neglecting the preparation for it.
Analysis of prolactin: why is it needed?
Prolactin is a lactotropic hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland. Its balance in the body is very important for both women and men. Prolactin affects the immune system, is involved in ensuring water and electrolyte balance, interacts with the hormones of peripheral endocrine glands.
The most important physiological role of prolactin is associated with the reproductive function and the gender system of the body. First of all, the necessary concentration of prolactin ensures the formation of milk in young mothers, and in girls during the pubertal period, this hormone develops the mammary glands. The regularity of the menstrual cycle and ovulation is also affected by the content of prolactin.
In addition, an increased level of prolactin may cause inability to conceive a child. By the way, precisely because of the high content of prolactin in the body of a nursing woman, she cannot become pregnant, the hormone acts as a “contraceptive”. A woman can conceive a child only after breastfeeding stops.
As for men, they have an increase in the content of this hormone inhibits libido and inhibits sexual function, adversely affect the composition of sperm.
The results of the analysis for prolactin reveal the cause of a number of pathologies of the mammary glands, infertility, suggest that the patient has pituitary dysfunction, autoimmune diseases, liver cirrhosis, hypothalamic diseases, vitamin B6 deficiency and a number of other abnormalities.
Thus, identifying the level of prolactin in the body allows you to specify the clinical picture and choose the right therapy in a variety of situations.
Indications for the appointment of a blood test for the hormone prolactin
The reason for the test for prolactin can be a variety of symptoms. But, as a rule, the doctor prescribes this analysis in the following cases:
- Discharge from the mammary glands in non-pregnant and non-nursing women, as well as in men.
- Chest pains.
- Disturbance of milk formation in the postpartum period.
- Diagnosis of chronic inflammatory processes of the genital organs.
- Lack of ovulation.
- Violation of the menstrual cycle.
- Delayed sexual development in adolescence.
- Identify the causes of infertility in both women and men.
- Decreased libido and potency.
- Severe menopause.
- Diagnosis of pathologies of the pituitary gland.
- A comprehensive study of the hormonal balance in the body.
In some situations, a blood test for prolactin greatly facilitates the solution of the problem.
How to pass a test for prolactin
Non-pregnant women should pay attention to the period of testing - you need to donate blood on the 1st – 4th day of the menstrual cycle.
It is also worth fulfilling a few simple recommendations:
- One day prior to the study, exclude sexual intimacy and thermal effects (bath, sauna).
- On the eve of abstaining from abundant food, alcohol, and not to smoke at least an hour before donating blood.
- Avoid stress and nervous tension on the eve of the analysis and immediately before the blood is taken - this is directly related to the level of prolactin. Therefore, if you are even a little alarmed, you must calm down before entering the laboratory.
- Avoid physical exertion - do not go to the gym the day before the study, in the morning on the day of analysis, physical exercise or jogging is excluded.
- Blood should be donated in the morning, no less than three hours after waking up, because during sleep, hormone levels increase significantly.
- The analysis is carried out on an empty stomach - the last meal should be 8–12 hours before the biomaterial is handed over. Drinking water is not prohibited.
Biomaterial sampling procedure
Blood for analysis is taken from a vein. It should be handed over at 8-11 am. The procedure itself takes only 5-7 minutes and does not cause discomfort. Blood is taken with a special syringe. After removing the needle, a cotton swab moistened with alcohol is applied to the puncture site. In order to avoid the appearance of subcutaneous hematoma, within 5 minutes after the injection, the patient keeps his arm bent at the elbow joint.
The resulting analysis is labeled and sent to the study, where in the laboratory serum is obtained from the blood. This is done either by natural plasma coagulation or by precipitating fibrinogen with calcium ions.
Why do we need analysis?
Prolactin is also called the female stress hormone, which is produced by the brain's pituitary cells. He is responsible for the full-fledged work of the reproductive sphere of a woman, but, in addition to this, has also a great influence on the work of the endocrine system. To donate blood for research on the determination of prolactin content is necessary in order to:
- detection of autoimmune pathologies,
- finding out the reasons for not being able to get pregnant,
- determine the factors that entailed pathological changes in the structure of the mammary glands, etc.
As for when to pass the biomaterial to determine the level of the hormone prolactin, among the indications should be noted, first of all, the presence of the following anomalies:
- frequent shifts in the menstrual cycle,
- development of mastopathy with all its attendant abnormalities: problems with eyesight, migraines, etc.,
- the presence of milk-like secretions from the mammary glands,
- a sharp and significant weight gain,
- unreasonable breast augmentation, its soreness and hypersensitivity,
- reduce the function of producing milk in a nursing mother.
These are cases where it is imperative to take a test for prolactin, since the above abnormalities may be the result of more serious problems in the functioning of the woman's body. Therefore, it is better not to let the situation take its course, but to immediately identify the causes of the anomaly and eliminate them without health consequences.
When is the test performed?
Now consider the question on which day of the cycle you can take the biomaterial for prolactin. In principle, venous blood can be collected on any given day, and the menstrual cycle is not important in this situation.
Although, of course, there are exceptions. If we are talking about when to be tested for prolactin to the mother, who recently just completed the breastfeeding process, the interval between the last feeding and the blood donation should be at least 7-10 days.
Materials on the topic:
This is the minimum time frame, so before preparing for blood sampling, a woman who has stopped lactation should consult a gynecologist or an endocrinologist about when and on which day of the cycle to take prolactin to get reliable data. Of course, it is better to wait for the moment when menstruation begins to set in on the previous schedule - then it will be possible to determine the most optimal time to visit the laboratory and deliver the biomaterial.
Features of preparation for the procedure
The process of testing for the determination of the concentration of prolactin requires preliminary preparation, which involves the following simple steps:
- 24 hours before the test, you should not be very active in physical terms. Excessive loads can cause distortion of the test results.
- Exclude sexual intercourse the day before and on the day of analysis. The release into the blood of sex hormones and the so-called "hormones of happiness" causes a jump in the prolactin indices and their increase several times.
- 1 day before the test, a woman should wear soft underwear that will not irritate or stimulate the areola of the mammary glands.
- Refuse thermal procedures (hot showers or baths, going to the sauna, etc.), since high temperatures can also affect the accuracy of the research data.
Donating a biomaterial for clinical analysis of prolactin is better on an empty stomach. Therefore, in the evening you should eliminate the use of heavy food. But this does not mean that supper should be excluded - let it just be light, not burdened with high-calorie, carbohydrate products.
You can make a light vegetable stew or salad. However, remember that the interval between dinner and the process of venous blood sampling should not be less than 9 hours.
Preparing to donate blood for a prolactin test also requires a good night’s rest. Having come to the clinic tired, the patient runs the risk of receiving inaccurate test data.
How to behave on the day of the test for prolactin?
Having figured out on which day of the cycle the biomaterial is usually taken for prolactin, and how to prepare for this process, it is necessary to consider in detail how the patient should behave immediately before the manipulation. This also plays an important role, since many factors can directly influence the test results. And these factors must be excluded.
First of all, it is necessary to pass an analysis to determine the concentration of prolactin in a state of absolute physical and moral relaxation. That is, the patient must be absolutely calm, because strong emotions can lead to a jump in the stress hormone.
To get accurate results, you need to go to the clinic in the range of 8-11 am, while you need to get up at least 2-3 hours before traveling to a medical facility.
Important! Donating biological material to determine prolactin is only necessary on an empty stomach! On the day of diagnostic manipulation it is necessary to exclude even tea, coffee and juice.
Smoking women should refrain from smoking cigarettes for several hours before the clinical procedure. When you come to the laboratory, you should sit down and rest for 20-30 minutes. As already noted, with intense physical exertion, a large number of hormones are released, so you need to wait a bit until their concentration returns to normal.
If you follow these recommendations, it will not be difficult to deliver prolactin correctly. Elevated and lowered levels of this substance are a serious deviation, and if you take into account the fact that it is influenced by many factors (pregnancy, age, environment, psychological state, etc.), then you need to prepare for the analysis carefully.
Do not neglect any of the above recommendations to avoid having to retake the test. After all, if there are abnormalities in the body, delay in diagnosis and treatment can have unpleasant consequences.
Description of the analysis
Prolactin has a second name, it is called luteotropic hormone (LTG). It is mainly produced in the pituitary gland, but in small quantities this substance is also produced by other organs (the epithelium lining the uterus, the prostate in men). In fact, this hormone is a protein molecule, the main purpose of which is the stimulation of milk production from women who gave birth.
However, this function of LTG does not end there; the substance not only regulates sexual function, but participates in the main metabolism, as well as is involved in more than two hundred different processes occurring in the body. Therefore, if the doctor recommends making an analysis of prolactin to non-pregnant and not lactating women or men, you should not be surprised.
Indications for women
Of course, women have to take samples for the maintenance of LTG much more often than the opposite sex. Here are the main cases when it recommends taking tests:
- amenorrhea in the absence of pregnancy
- unsteady cycle
- gynecological bleeding of obscure nature,
- breast changes, nipple discharge in the absence of lactation and pregnancy,
- difficulties with conception
- regular headaches of unknown etiology,
- blurred vision combined with migraine-like headaches.
Indications for men
Sometimes it is necessary to take samples for the maintenance of LTG and the representatives of the stronger sex. Here are the main indications, when a doctor may recommend to take an analysis:
- headaches, the causes of which are impossible to establish,
- problems with libido and potency,
- gynecomastia - breast enlargement,
- appearance of nipple discharge
- vision problems in combination with headaches.
How to prepare?
To decipher the results was as correct as possible, it is necessary to properly prepare for its delivery. In principle, the preparation for this study differs little from the recommendations that are given before any other analyzes to determine the hormonal status.
Here are the basic recommendations:
- It is recommended to take samples in the morning and always on an empty stomach. It is important that at least three hours pass from the moment of awakening to sampling. Therefore, if the analysis is scheduled for 8 am, you will have to get up at 5,
- if you are going to test for hormones, the day before you need to avoid physical exertion (for example, sports training), as well as emotional stress,
- It is important to avoid stimulating the nipples during the day before sampling, since this action leads to an increase in the level of LTG,
- within two days prior to the manipulation, it is necessary to exclude the use of any alcohol and to refrain from smoking for at least two hours prior to analysis,
- It is necessary on the eve of the analysis to refuse to visit the sauna or steam bath.
When prescribing an analysis to a woman, the doctor can indicate the day of the cycle on which the samples should be taken, since the level of LGT varies during the month. If the doctor did not give such instructions, then such a study is recommended for women at the beginning of the cycle - from the fifth to the eighth day from the beginning of the next menstruation.
Tip! In that case, if the test is not completed in time, the woman will need to tell the doctor exactly on which day of the cycle the samples were taken. If this condition is not fulfilled, decoding cannot be done correctly. Since the rate of LGT content at the beginning, middle and end of the cycle are significantly different.
In the event that the patient is taking any medications, it is necessary to inform the physician giving the referral to take samples. So, women who take oral contraceptives, you need to skip one cycle, protected by non-hormonal methods, and only then pass the analysis.
How is the procedure?
If a prolactin test is assigned, then the procedure will be performed according to the following algorithm:
- a medical professional will put a harness above the elbow to make the veins more distinct,
- cotton swab dipped in alcohol, wipe the injection site,
- insert the needle into the vein and start drawing blood into a syringe or a special container
- typing enough blood will remove the needle from the vein,
- the injection site is covered with a swab moistened with alcohol, the patient is asked to bend the arm at the elbow and sit for a few minutes until the blood stops.
Tip! Of course, all manipulations should be carried out in the laboratory using a disposable sterile medical instrument.
As a rule, there are no problems with taking blood samples. In rare cases, a small bruise may form at the injection site, which will pass on its own within a few days.
Tip! If a patient has problems with blood clotting, or he is taking medications to thin it, it is necessary to inform the doctor about this, which gives the direction for analysis.
What is the rate of maintenance of LTG? It must be said that, depending on the methods used, the rate in different laboratories may differ, therefore, only a specialist should be engaged in decoding.
In most cases, the rate of LGT content for women who are currently not pregnant and not breastfeeding is 45-527 mU / l. For men, the rate of maintenance of this hormone is 55-359 mU / l.
However, for people who take certain drugs or have some chronic diseases, the rate of LHT content may be changed. Therefore, only the endocrinologist can correctly interpret the results. It is not worth making conclusions on the basis of analysis independently, since this analysis is very specific, and the rate may vary widely.
If the rate of LTG is significantly exceeded, then this is not always a sign of the disease. Consider when high levels of LGT are the norm.
- Pregnancy. An increase in the level of the hormone is observed already at week 8.
- Emotional stress.
Tip! Sometimes a high hormone level, according to the results of the analysis, is just a sign that the preparation for the blood donation was carried out incorrectly. In this case, it will be necessary to retake the analysis, this time taking the rules of preparation more seriously.
However, sometimes an increase in the level of LTG is a sign of disease. These test results can be for the following diseases:
- Prolactinoma It is a pituitary tumor that produces an excess amount of the hormone. In this case, symptoms such as amenorrhea, obesity, nipple discharge (in non-lactating and non-pregnant women), increased intracranial pressure, etc. are noted.
- Hypothyroidism. Pathological changes in the functions of the thyroid gland.
- Anorexia. The disease associated with an obsessive desire to lose weight and provoked by this complete rejection of food.
- Polycystic ovary. The disease is manifested not only by an increase in the level of LTG, but also by infertility, excessive hair growth, an irregular cycle, etc.
- Diseases of the liver, kidneys and other internal pathologies.
Analysis of lactotropic hormone in women
Prolactin is a lactotropic hormone that is synthesized by the cells of the anterior pituitary gland. The normal performance of this compound is extremely important for everyone. This hormone determines the state of immunity, takes part in the water-electrolyte balance and acts in parallel with the hormones of the endocrine system.
However, the most significant role is given to prolactin in the field of childbirth. First of all, a certain level of the hormone ensures an adequate amount of milk in women during lactation, and for girls in the pubertal period, prolactin ensures breast development. The systematicity of the cycle and the stability of ovulation is also influenced by the concentration of this substance.
In addition, the increased level of the hormone is quite capable of serving as a provocateur of infertility. After all, it is precisely because of the increased concentration of prolactin in women during lactation that she is often incapable of conception, since it plays the role of a “contraceptive”. As a rule, a woman is able to conceive only after the cessation of lactation.
A blood test for prolactin makes it possible to determine the causes of certain pathologies of the mammary glands, the inability to conceive, provide a basis for suspecting a person to have dysfunction of the pituitary, hypothalamic disease, autoimmune disorders, vitamin B6 deficiency and many other abnormalities. In other words, the analysis of the hormone prolactin contributes to the concrete picture of the disease and helps to find the necessary treatment.
Indications for test
A blood test for this hormone is performed after the onset of various symptoms. However, often the doctor writes out a referral for analysis under the following circumstances:
- severe menopause,
- decreased libido,
- no ovulation
- pathologies of the pituitary gland,
- chest pains
- disruptions during the menstrual cycle,
- delayed sexual development processes,
- impaired lactation after childbirth,
- inflammatory processes in the genitals,
- discharge from the chest in non-nourishing and non-pregnant women,
- complex study of hormonal background.
In the latter case, tests for estradiol, testosterone, FSH, LH, TSH and T4 are taken. Usually, research can show an existing problem, and also greatly simplifies its solution. It should be noted that, in contrast to other well-known hormones produced by the pituitary, prolactin is not focused on a specific function. Accordingly, its impact is extensive and multifaceted. That is why in medical circles they wanted to change its name to "versalitin," that is, "multilateral."
How to pass the analysis
Pregnant women are allowed to test for prolactin at any time, but non-pregnant women need to take into account some of the nuances. When is it better to take a similar test? Blood sampling for analysis is carried out from 3 to 5 days from the beginning of menstruation or from 23 to 26 days with a 29-day cycle.
If it is required to pass a blood test for a hormone separately from others (LH, FSH, TSH and others), then it is likely that the test will be carried out on any given day.
True, based on the clinical picture, the doctor may advise a particular day. But are there other tips for the test? How to pass a test for prolactin?
To do this, you must adhere to such recommendations. The test is performed on an empty stomach (the previous meal is carried out 8-12 hours before), but it is not forbidden to consume water. Blood is collected in the morning, within 3 hours after waking up, as in a dream the concentration of the hormone increases.
A few days before the test, you should stop taking medications and oral contraceptives, on the eve it is better to abandon a hearty dinner and lunch, alcohol and nicotine. Will have to wait a little with physical loadings. They need to be canceled at least one day before the analysis.
The day before the test, sex, visits to the sauna and bath are excluded.
In addition, it is important to avoid stress and emotional shocks. Psychological tension directly leads to an increase in the level of the hormone, so if a person is alarmed, nervous before the procedure, hurries, then you need to give yourself the opportunity to calm down within 15 minutes.
The blood for analysis is taken from a vein with a syringe, and it is often taken from 8 to 11 hours. The procedure itself does not take more than 5 minutes and is not associated with discomfort.
Deciphering the results
Conducting a sample study usually takes only one day (excluding the day of blood donation). However, in an emergency, the results may be available for 3 hours. They are displayed on a specific form. What does such a sheet show? Often, the concentration of the hormone in the blood is indicated in honey / l or in ng / ml.
Of course, deciphering the test data, however, like making a diagnosis, is the responsibility of the attending physician, since the test for prolactin is only part of a global survey. The doctor judges by increasing or decreasing the level of prolactin, verifying the test data with the established norm. It will depend on the age and sex of the subject.
For representatives of the male half, they are:
- at the age of 1 month - 78-1705 mU / l,
- from 1 to 12 months - less than 607 mU / l,
- more than 1 year - 73-407 mU / l.
For women, the indicators will be as follows:
- up to 1 month - 63-1995 mU / l,
- from 1 to 12 months - less than 628 mU / l,
- older than 1 year - 109-557 mU / l.
As the figures clearly demonstrate, the rate of lactotropic hormone fluctuates significantly. This is associated with certain physiological processes caused by age, as well as the state of the reproductive system. In addition, the prolactin index changes under the influence of psycho-physiological stress, smoking, alcohol consumption, overeating, and also due to lack of sleep. In women, hormone levels significantly depend on the phase of the cycle, and, moreover, during pregnancy, its concentration also increases.
What it says low and high rate
As a rule, an increased concentration of prolactin is associated with such pathologies:
- pathologies of the pituitary gland,
- polycystic ovaries,
- hypothalamic diseases,
- kidney failure
- functional disruption of the adrenal cortex,
- effects of drug treatment.
A lower rate develops against the background of such diseases:
- traumatic brain injury
- pituitary tuberculosis,
- pituitary apoplexy,
- effects of radiation therapy
- tumors in the brain and pituitary gland,
- taking certain medications, such as anticonvulsants.
In diagnosed deviations from the norm, only the doctor has the right to talk about the degree of seriousness of the condition, and he selects the necessary treatment that takes into account the patient’s personal characteristics.
Such an analysis is taken in both public and private laboratories. In the first case, the analysis is carried out free of charge, but this will first require a referral from a therapist, gynecologist or endocrinologist. As an alternative to passing the test in a private clinic or laboratory. Then there is no need for direction, and the study is carried out in any day suitable for a person. How much does this service cost? The average cost of the test costs up to 700 rubles.
As it became clear, prolactin is an extremely important hormone in everyone’s life. Its oscillation to any of the sides leads to serious pathologies and serious conditions. In addition, a considerable number of spouses suffer from the absence of children, and mild therapy, aimed at bringing this hormone back to normal, unobtrusively solves this problem. It is only important to understand in time how important it is to analyze for prolactin, how to take this test correctly, and many problems will remain forever behind.
What is prolactin?
Prolactin is a hormone that is directly related to the function of reproduction. To pass the analysis for prolactin prescribed to women who are planning a pregnancy or already pregnant. This hormone in the human body is responsible for the normal functioning of the ovaries, mammary glands, fatty tissues and testes in men. According to statistics, 30% of women cannot become pregnant due to an excess of this hormone in the body. The main targets of a hormone such as prolactin are the mammary glands. He is responsible for their growth, as well as for the normal maturation of milk during lactation and preparation for it.
There are a number of indications in which all women need to be tested for prolactin:
- diagnostics of the pituitary gland,
- hormone replacement therapy,
- tumor development in the pituitary gland,
- lack of milk when breastfeeding,
- menstruation disorders
- long delays.
Analysis of prolactin can be prescribed for delivery not only to women, but also to men:
- with testicular failure,
- with a reduced sperm count,
- in the absence of sperm in the semen,
- with an increased breast size.
To take a test for a hormone is necessary in case of some sexual dysfunctions, for example, with the loss of sexual desire.
Preparation for the analysis
Analyzes for prolactin need to pass correctly, otherwise you will have to re-conduct the study. This hormone and its production by the body is very strongly associated with the effects of external factors on humans. That is why the procedure for donating blood requires careful preparation. Preparation for the analysis involves the day before the procedure a complete rejection of alcoholic beverages, smoking and stress. On the eve of the analysis, try not to eat meat, cottage cheese and legumes, but you should not starve - a light vegetable dinner would be the best option. After dinner, try to go to bed as early as possible: lack of sleep can cause a jump in prolactin. A few days before donating blood, you need to stop taking medications, especially hormone-containing drugs.
Preparation for the test requires the day before the procedure to completely eliminate sex, do not take a hot bath, do not go to the sauna.
Prolactin, as a rule, reacts very strongly to stress, so after some kind of shock or severe emotional stress, it is not recommended to take an analysis of prolactin. Blood donation should ideally occur within 3 hours after waking up - always on an empty stomach. Brushing your teeth, drinking tea, coffee and juices before analysis is prohibited.
A sharp decrease in prolactin is observed with a true prolongation of pregnancy, therefore in late periods it is advisable to control the level of this hormone.
So, prolactin analysis is an important study that helps make a diagnosis in difficult cases. Representatives of both sexes can prescribe such a test, but in examining women this need arises more often. In order to obtain reliable results, patients should prepare properly for the analysis.
Signs of increased levels of prolactin at different ages
The main signs of increased prolactin in women - This discharge from the nipples and delayed menstruation. Symptoms of increased prolactin are closely related to its ability to block the action of female sex hormones - estrogen and progesterone. In men, on the contrary, prolactin increases the effect of estrogen, but blocks testosterone.
Prolonged exposure to high doses of prolactin in adults causes disruption in the work of various organs and systems.
Discharge from the mammary glands. The excreted fluid may be clear or resemble breast milk. The amount varies from a few drops when pressed to several milliliters and unauthorized expiration.
Enlarged mammary glands due to the growth of epithelium of the lobules and ducts.
Mastopathy - seals in the mammary glands, the formation of cysts and adenomas.
Violation of menstrual function: irregular menstruation, heavy and painful bleeding.
Amenorrhea - cessation of menstruation for 6 months or more.
Infertility. A high level of prolactin blocks ovarian hormones, disrupting egg maturation and ovulation. This makes it impossible to get pregnant.
Miscarriage of pregnancy.
Frigidity - no desire to have sex.
Polycystic ovary syndrome. High prolactin disrupts the processes of ovulation, as a result, numerous cysts are formed on the site of mature follicles.
The increase in body weight associated with water retention and increased body fat.
Acne on the face and upper half of the body.
Frequent bone fractures and multiple caries due to leaching of calcium salts.
Disturbance of peripheral vision, double vision in the eyes when the ocular nerves are compressed by pituitary adenoma.
Impaired emotional stability and sleep.
Reduced sexual desire and impaired potency, which is caused by a decrease in testosterone.
Gynecomastia - breast growth.
Frequent fractures and multiple caries.
Impaired vision in large pituitary adenomas, compressing the optic nerves.
How to prepare for the test for prolactin
To obtain the most accurate results of the analysis at least 3 days in time, it is necessary to stop taking medications that affect the synthesis of prolactin. Their list is presented in the following sections of the article. If it is not possible to cancel the medicinal products, it is necessary to inform the laboratory staff about the drugs taken and their dosage.
A day before the study, if possible, refrain from:
- psychotropic substances
- abundance of protein and carbohydrate foods,
- sexual intercourse,
- nipple and areola irritations - sexual stimulation, tight underwear,
- thermal procedures - baths, hot baths,
- lack of sleep
- physical exertion.
What is the analysis for prolactin?
In humans, prolactin is formed in the anterior pituitary gland. Scientists have not fully investigated how this hormone acts and is responsible, in addition to its reproductive function. Normally, this important hormone is inherent only to the female sex. But there are some cases when men are diagnosed with prolactin. The endocrinologist, andrologist or gynecologist will issue a referral for this analysis.
Prolactin is prescribed for the following reasons:
- Galactoreal phenomenon (pathological discharge from the nipple).
- With the growth of the mammary gland.
- Therapy with hormonal drugs.
- Failure of the menstrual cycle.
- Suspected pituitary neoplasm.
- Lack of milk for the baby when feeding.
- Violation of childbearing function.
In turn, men are assigned to this study if:
- The inability to have children.
- The mammary glands are larger.
- Impaired testicular function.
- Lack of sexual attraction to the opposite sex.
- Symptoms of impotence.
- The complete absence of sperm or insufficient number.
In addition to the above symptoms, people have brittle bones, decreased vision, spontaneous weight gain. Mandatory indicator for the delivery of prolactin is surgery for removal of the pituitary gland.
A decrease in the blood level of human prolactin is observed if a person suffers from various pathological processes in the pituitary gland, the occurrence of hemorrhages in brain tissues. In women, a decrease in the hormone is observed if it takes drugs of hormonal origin.
A sharp jump in the level of prolactin is observed with thyroid gland dysfunction, hypothalamus, hepatic impairment, kidney failure, diseases of autoimmune origin, an excess of pyridoxine in the blood.
Very important is the fact that when a tumor is detected (adenoma) in the pituitary gland, the level of prolactin rises to high numbers.In order to accurately determine whether a person has a tumor or not, it is necessary to apply MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography). Also for differential diagnosis, an x-ray of the skull must be taken.
To do an analysis of prolactin, it is necessary to carefully prepare for this.
What is required for analysis?
Preparation for blood donation for prolactin begins in a day. First, any patient must refrain from having sex, otherwise the level of the studied hormone will be increased. Secondly, the complete exclusion from the diet a day before the delivery of alcoholic beverages and heavy physical loads. It is undesirable to supercool or overheat. You should not go to saunas, take hot baths. Also, analysis will be false if a person has suffered stress for several days, or has been subjected to emotional overstrain. It is worth a week before putting to avoid various stress conditions.
To postpone the delivery of the analysis of the hormone is necessary if a person is sick with any inflammatory disease, up to the usual cold.
Only after the normalization of all indicators of the general condition of the patient, the accuracy of the analysis will be high. And finally, if you take a variety of hormonal drugs, you should wait a bit with this, but with the permission of the doctor.
In the evening, before being tested for prolactin in the morning, you should eliminate any meat, dairy and protein products from the diet. Doctors recommend a small dinner, the diet of which will include vegetables. Also, for optimal preparation it would be good to go to bed early (7.5-8 hours). After all, if a person does not get enough sleep, then prolactin increases gradually.
Algorithm of actions on the day of analysis
As soon as the patient arrives at the laboratory's office, it is necessary to sit for 20 minutes after the street. This is necessary in order to bring the heart to full activity and calm down, since there was a physical burden.
Women should be tested for prolactin at 4-5 days from the time of menstruation, or on the 25th day of the cycle. This is subject to, if the duration is 29 days. If the woman is nursing, then it is necessary to conduct a laboratory study after 8 days from the moment of the last feeding.
If it is necessary to take a prolactin to a man, then the requirements remain absolutely the same. The only thing you can choose absolutely any day of delivery, but complying with all the requirements of the doctor. If you follow all the rules of blood donation for prolactin, the result will be 99% accurate. With minor deviations, the doctor is entitled to appoint a secondary examination.
As mentioned above, prolactin is the most important hormone in human activity.
Due to the violation of its formation in the human body leads to overweight, dysfunction of the metabolic processes, a significant reduction in immunity, the inability to have children, as well as insufficient milk in a nursing mother.
It should be very scrupulous to prepare for the delivery of prolactin, which was appointed by a specialist. Women need to especially prepare for surrender, because if the need arises to re-study, then this can be done in a month (because of the menstruation cycle).
What is prolactin and what does it affect?
Prolactin is one of a number of lactotropic hormones, which is peptide in its chemical composition. In essence, these are protein molecules. The hormone is produced, mainly by the anterior parts of the pituitary gland. In small quantities can also be produced in the female uterus or the male prostate.
This hormone has other names:
Almost all the physiological areas that are affected by this lactotropic hormone are associated with the functions of childbirth. With the right hormonal balance, it promotes the formation of milk in the breast.
The receptors for this hormone are also found in other human organs:
- heart muscle
- adrenal glands
- the liver
- uterus and ovaries
- testicular men
- skeleton and muscle tissue
The action of the hormone prolactin has not yet been fully studied. However, its effect on many areas in the human body has been confirmed, for example:
- stimulating the growth of blood vessels
- active in immune responses
- interaction with hormones produced by the endocrine glands
- decreased levels of testosterone in men, in women estrogen
- normalization of water-salt balance of the body
- promoting metabolism
The plasma concentration of prolactin varies widely. Its indicators depend on various processes of physiology, which are associated with age-related changes and with the state of human reproductive function.
In addition, it should be noted that the level of the described hormone is unstable. During the day, his indicators change:
- prolactin is released into the blood every 1.5 hours
- in the afternoon the level gradually decreases
- peak concentration reaches in the phase of deep sleep
- the lowest rate is reached within 1–3 hours on waking
Elevated levels of the hormone prolactin is called hyperprolactinemia. She is of two kinds.
- Physiological, which is not associated with impaired health. The amount of hormone may increase in such cases:
- in stressful situations
- in deep sleep phase
- during pregnancy
- from having sex
- due to strong physical activity
- from alcohol abuse
- while taking certain medications (antidepressants, sleeping pills, psychotropic, etc.)
- from vitamin B6 deficiency
- Pathological - which is an indicator of whether a person has a particular ailment:
- ovarian dysfunction women
- pathologies of the hypothalamus
- pituitary adenoma
- autoimmune diseases
- anorexia nervosa
- galactorrhea syndromes or amenorrhea
- hypothalamic diseases
- chest injuries
- renal failure
- liver cirrhosis
The decrease in the concentration of prolactin, as a rule, is associated with such negative factors:
- pituitary or brain tumors
- post-term pregnancy
- head injuries
- medication (dopaminergic, anticonvulsant, etc.)
- the result of roentgenotherapy
- large blood loss
- apoplexy of the pituitary gland (Sheehan syndrome)
Blood test for prolactin: preparation
Patient's recommendation for blood testing for the level of the hormone prolactin, as a rule, are such patient complaints:
- depressed state
- weight gain during normal diet
- headaches of unknown etiology
- frequent fractures with minor injuries
- multiple caries
- low vision
- inability to conceive a child for a long time
- detection during examination of pituitary adenoma
- delayed sexual development in adolescents
The following doctors can refer you to the study:
How is the procedure itself:
- with the help of a syringe blood is taken (5-6 ml) from a vein
- cotton wool dipped in alcohol or an antiseptic adhesive is applied to the injection site
- hold the arm bent at the elbow for 7 min. avoid hematoma
- biomaterial is investigated by precipitation with calcium ions of fibrinogen or natural coagulation
To obtain the most reliable results from the analysis of prolactin, you must adhere to strict rules.
Before blood collection during the day:
- avoid increasing physical and mental stress, lead your usual lifestyle,
- do not visit the baths, saunas, sunbathing on the beach,
- discard tight underwear that may irritate the areola area,
- during dinner, observe moderation and limit the amount of protein foods (meat, bean, milk),
- do not take alcoholic beverages,
- refrain from sexual intercourse, as the hormone level may increase by a factor of 2–3 (doctors recommend to stop having sex for three days before the analysis),
- go to bed early to sleep well
- between the last meal and blood sampling should take at least 8 hours (water is allowed to drink),
- Do not take any hormonal drugs.
On the day of analysis it is recommended:
- wake up early so the waking period after sleep lasts about 3 hours
- give the analysis on an empty stomach, even giving up morning coffee or tea, as any food can distort the results of the analysis
- refrain from smoking for at least an hour before blood sampling
- if you walked to the clinic at an accelerated pace, sit for 15 minutes to catch your breath and calm down
In addition, consider the following general recommendations of physicians:
- Give analysis when you feel well, as any ailments lead to false results,
- in cases of stressful situations, postpone the study for a couple of days, as nervous tension can provoke an increase in the level of prolactin,
- The best time to test for hormones is in the morning between 8 and 11 o'clock. If you can’t visit the lab at this time, postpone the procedure for another day,
- during periods of pregnancy or breastfeeding, such an analysis is prescribed in an exceptional case, since the concentration of prolactin in the blood is increased so
- during breastfeeding, the interval between the last attachment of the child to the mother's breast and the day of blood collection should be at least a week,
- in case of deviations from the norm, a repeated analysis can be prescribed (in 10-14 days).
Analysis of prolactin in women
For the normal functioning of the female body, prolactin plays an extremely important role. The main impact it has on the work of the mammary glands:
- enhances colostrum secretion
- increases the number of ducts and lobules in the mammary gland
- promotes the growth and formation of breasts in girls during puberty (with puberty)
- provides the transition of colostrum into milk
In addition, the specified hormone:
- helps to maintain the required amount of progesterone involved in normal childbearing during pregnancy
- provides orgasm from intercourse
- reduces the sensitivity of the pelvic organs during labor and the mammary glands at the time of breastfeeding
- inhibits the ovulation cycle (a nursing mother does not become pregnant precisely because a significant increase in prolactin occurs during this period, and it becomes a kind of natural “contraceptive”)
A significant increase in the level of this hormone in a woman’s body can lead to the following negative consequences:
- cysts in the mammary glands
- frigidity development
- failures in the menstrual cycle
- Macromastia (excessive breast enlargement in size)
- cancerous tumors
A significant decrease in the concentration of prolactin is also fraught with consequences:
- slow luteal phase in the menstrual cycle, which contributes to the absence of ovulation. As a result, a woman cannot become pregnant.
- lack of milk after childbirth
- excessive hair growth on the body and face
- phobias of a different nature
Therefore, it is very important for women's health to periodically check the concentration of prolactin in the blood in order to take timely measures to normalize it.
The doctor recommends a woman to pass such an analysis in cases where she is concerned about:
- menstrual disorders
- excretion of colostrum from the mammary glands
- breast augmentation
- uterine discharge between periods
- painful menopause
In addition, this analysis is shown to all women who are planning to conceive a child.
Some physicians prescribe this analysis to patients between the 1st and the 4th day of their menstrual cycle. And in cases where there is a suspicion of serious endocrine disorders, it is recommended to carry out the procedure on the second or third day from the beginning of the cycle.
At the same time, many experts say that the analysis for the determination of prolactin can be taken on any day, regardless of the menstrual cycle. In any laboratory, before the blood collection, the first day of the last menstrual period is necessarily marked. And the results are decrypted taking into account the days of the cycle.
In addition, it is believed that to obtain an accurate clinical picture of a single analysis for a woman is not enough. Therefore, it is recommended to undergo the procedure again after 2 weeks.
Analysis of prolactin in men
In the body of representatives of the strong half, the hormone prolactin also plays a huge role:
- stimulates the immune system
- ensures proper spermatogenesis
- affects sexual desire
- participates in the production of testosterone
An increase in the level of homo monomer of prolactin in a man can cause:
- deterioration and sperm reduction
- suppress libido and reduce potency
- increase the size of the mammary glands
- colostrum pain and discharge from the chest
- rashes and redness on the skin
- slow hair growth on the body or face
If you suspect the presence of these factors, a man is strongly recommended to visit a doctor and pass the appropriate analysis to study the level of prolactin concentration.
Also, the indication for testing for this hormone is the diagnosis of the following diseases:
- testicular failure
A man can make blood tests at any convenient day, adhering to the recommendations described above.
Analysis of prolactin: price and places for delivery
Blood for analysis to determine the concentration of prolactin can be donated free of charge at a state clinic. To do this, you need to contact your GP or endocrinologist, so that they write out the appropriate direction.
Also, a similar study is conducted in private laboratories and medical centers. A referral is not required in this case. The cost of such analysis in such institutions, on average, ranges from 340 to 900 rubles, depending on the region.
The price, of course, is not low. Therefore, doctors recommend with the analysis of prolactin at the same time to check the level of other hormones. Moreover, in some clinics for complex tests or an extensive panel of hormones there is a discount.
In addition, stay tuned for promotions and special offers that private laboratories and clinics often offer. It may be worth passing the analysis, even if nothing bothers you. A timely detected prolactin imbalance may be the reason for a visit to the doctor and the timely appointment of the desired therapy.
Decoding analysis for prolactin
As noted above, a significant increase in the concentration of prolactin often indicates the presence of various kinds of diseases. It is believed that the higher the performance, the more likely the presence of a tumor in a person. In addition, it may be a sign of other inflammatory processes, such as prolactinomas (a tumor in the anterior part of the brain, which provokes an increase in prolactin secretion).
The sooner a person examines the blood level of a lactogenic hormone, the sooner he will be able to detect failures in the work of his body. The results of the analysis specify the clinical picture. This allows you to prescribe the appropriate treatment and thus maintain health for many years.
Plasma testing for prolactin levels usually takes one day. Urgently, you can get results in 2-3 hours. The patient is issued a printed official form with digital indicators.
The concentration of prolactin in the blood can be indicated in the following units:
- honey / l - international micro-units per liter
- ng / ml - nanograms per milliliter
The ratio of these units is: ng / ml * 21.28 = honey / l. Depending on the method used by a particular laboratory, regulatory indicators may vary. Therefore, only a doctor can decipher the results of the analysis and make a diagnosis, which correlates the obtained indicators with the reference (average) values of the laboratory indicator indicated in the form.
The average statistical results are:
- for non-pregnant women - from 3.2 to 49 ng / ml (from 68.1 to 1042.7 mU / l) taking into account the phase of the menstrual cycle
- during pregnancy - from 30 to 318 ng / ml (from 638.4 to 6760 mU / l) depending on the trimester
- for men - from 2 to 17 ng / ml (from 42.6 to 361 mU / l)
However, the results of any research should be considered in conjunction with other data and the patient's condition, taking into account his age. Independently it is impossible to decipher the results of the analysis, since it is quite specific. Only a specialist can do this correctly.
If there is a significant increase in prolactin, then additional tests may be prescribed to identify the causes:
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain
- biochemical blood tests
- Ultrasound of the mammary glands, ovaries, thyroid
- pharmacological tests
- determining the level of other hormones
We draw your attention to the fact that this article is a recommendation. Our goal is to provide general information for more productive communication with your doctor.
We hope that having studied this material, you can be more competent in matters of your health. In no case do not neglect such an important aspect as a visit to the doctor and an annual physical examination. Be careful and take care of yourself!