About High Levels Of Prolactin
Prolactin is a hormone produced by pituitary gland which functions by stimulating milk production in females who have just delivered a baby. The medical term for having high levels of prolactin in blood is hyperprolactinemia. While it is common for females to have high levels of prolactin in blood when they are pregnant or just after delivery of their child sometimes the levels of prolactin become high as a result of certain other medical conditions. This is what is termed as hyperprolactinemia.
The main cause of high levels of prolactin in the blood is prolactinoma which is a benign tumor of the pituitary gland. Other than this, certain medical conditions like hypothyroidism, renal dysfunction, and liver cirrhosis also result in high prolactin levels. Certain medications like antipsychotics also are responsible for elevated levels of prolactin in the blood.
While there can be certain complications as a result of high levels of prolactin in the body, one complication that many patients ask about is infertility. This article gives information about whether high levels of prolactin results in infertility.
Can High Prolactin Levels Result In Infertility?
The answer to this question is, yes, high levels of prolactin in blood do result in infertility. In case if a female who is not pregnant has high levels of prolactin then it will make it difficult for her to get pregnant in the future. High levels of prolactin may lead to infertility in various ways. The first and foremost is that high levels of prolactin may stop ovulation. This will cause a female to have menstrual irregularities or even complete absence of menstrual periods. This in turn will lead to infertility.
In less severe cases, the level of progesterone may be affected as a result of high prolactin levels causing a weak uterine lining which may not be able to hold an embryo in case of fertilization which will in turn lead to infertility. Such females will see a shorter gap between periods.
In conclusion, females with high prolactin levels are at high risk for infertility as high levels of prolactin directly affects ovulation of a female causing disruption in the menstrual cycle causing infertility. In less severe cases of high prolactin levels, there may be deficiency of progesterone which may cause a weak uterine lining which will not be able to hold an embryo even if fertilization does occur resulting in infertility due to high prolactin levels.
- Mayo Clinic – Hyperprolactinemia. Link
- EndocrineWeb – Hyperprolactinemia: Too Much of a Good Thing.
- Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism – Hyperprolactinemia: Pathophysiology and Management.
- Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics – Hyperprolactinemia: A New Interesting Field for Reproductive Medicine? Link
- Fertility and Sterility – Hyperprolactinemia and Infertility: New Insights.