Hyperprolactinemia in women and men

Hormonal background affects a person's condition, and his failures affect health. For example, hyperprolactinemia can develop in both women and men, and sometimes it leads to unpleasant and serious consequences. Find out how this deviation manifests itself, and how to eliminate it.

What is hyperprolactinemia?

Hyperpolactinemia is a condition characterized by an increase in the level of the hormone prolactin in the human body. More often, an increase in concentration is observed in women, but it may well develop in men. The prolactin norm for adult females is from 1 to 29 ng / ml of blood or 65-395 mIU / L. For adult men, the rates are somewhat different: 80-380 mIU / l, or from 1 to 17-18 ng / ml.

Hyperprolactinemia may be physiological, associated with the natural changes occurring in the body, as well as pathological, due to health problems. In addition, there is another classification:

  1. Primary develops due to violations of the synthesis of the hormone.
  2. Secondary is a consequence of other diseases.
  3. Idiopathic. It is not possible to establish the mechanism of occurrence of violations.

What functions does prolactin perform in the human body?

Prolactin is a multifunctional peptide hormone, mainly synthesized by the anterior lobe of the pituitary brain under the influence of another hypothalamus. But also prolactin is produced by the thymus and pineal glands, placental decidual tissue and cells, mammary glands, ovaries. Concentration is almost constantly changing, production is carried out in waves, and may depend on some external and internal factors. But synthesis is not subject to circadian rhythms, that is, it does not depend on the time of day.

Consider the main important functions performed by prolactin in the female body:

  • ensuring harmonious development of the mammary glands;
  • preparation of the mammary glands of the future mother for breastfeeding;
  • ensuring full maturation of the eggs;
  • normal folliculogenesis (follicle growth);
  • synchronization of the maturation processes of female oocyte sex cells and the growth of the dominant follicle, from which a viable egg should exit;
  • ensuring the correct and uninterrupted work of the corpus luteum, formed on the site of the bursting follicle;
  • stabilization of hormonal levels during the menstrual cycle: maintaining a balance between estrogen receptors and luteinizing hormone;
  • regulation of the structure and volume of amniotic fluid (amniotic fluid) by controlling the processes of transporting water molecules through the fetal membranes;
  • maintenance of lactation, increased production of milk after the birth of a child, the synthesis of colostrum and its transformation into ripe milk.

In the male body, prolactin also ensures the normal flow of important processes that affect the reproductive system. And here are its functions:

  • the acceleration of metabolism in the tubules of the testes and testicles, the normalization of their mass;
  • intensification of the effects arising from the interaction of follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormones (the pituitary gland produces them for regulation, maintenance and normalization of spermatogenesis - development of male sex cells);
  • stimulation of the secretory activity of the prostate gland by slowing down the reaction of the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone;
  • regulation of energy metabolism, which takes place in the structure of sexual cells (this ensures viability, resistance to unfavorable environment and high mobility of spermatozoa).

Manifestations of hyperprolactinemia

Symptoms of hyperprolactinemia in women, like in men, may be absent altogether or be blurred and uncharacteristic for hormonal failures. Signals to increase the concentration of the hormone in the fairer sex:

  • all sorts of failures of the menstrual cycle: amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), oligomenorrhea (increase in the intervals between critical days);
  • infertility;
  • frequent episodes of miscarriages;
  • decreased libido;
  • anorgasmia (lack of orgasms), frigidity;
  • galactorrhea (milk secretion that occurs outside the lactation period and is not associated with feeding);
  • hirsutism - excessive hairiness in the male type (growth of hair on the face, chest, legs and arms, abdomen);
  • coarsening, breast augmentation, pain;
  • weight gain;
  • headache, dizziness;
  • reduced visual acuity;
  • sleep disorders;
  • osteopenia (decrease in calcium concentration in bone tissues);
  • apathy, depression, weakness.

In men, hyperpolactinemia can manifest itself in the form of such symptoms:

  • decreased libido;
  • potency problems;
  • gynecomastia (pathological enlargement of the mammary glands);
  • oligospermia (decrease in the amount of seminal fluid released during ejaculation);
  • impaired spermatogenesis: a decrease in sperm motility and viability;
  • infertility;
  • galactorrhea;
  • vision problems;
  • episodes of headaches, dizziness;
  • weight gain;
  • decrease in the severity of sexual characteristics.

Why develop?

The causes of hyperprolactinaemia are divided into physiological and pathological. The first assumes the influence of natural processes in the body processes. The level increase is observed in such cases:

  • pregnancy;
  • breast-feeding;
  • period of rest, especially full deep sleep;
  • intense exercise, exercise;
  • sexual intercourse (the effect of intimate communication on the level of the female hormone is especially pronounced, and the concentration increases with nipple stimulation);
  • worries, stress;
  • changes in diet (drinking alcohol, increasing the amount of protein foods).

Pathological causes are associated with failures in the work of various organs and systems, they may be as follows:

  • diseases and disorders of the functioning of the pituitary gland (cysts, prolactinomas, adenomas, malignant neoplasms, hypophysitis, traumatic injuries, hyperfunction of the pituitary gland);
  • malfunctions in work, pathologies of the hypothalamus (neurosyphilis, tuberculosis, the effects of traumatic brain injury, cancers, vascular diseases, histiocytosis, sarcoidosis);
  • mastitis in women;
  • breast injuries or surgeries affecting the area;
  • prostatitis in men;
  • ovarian diseases (polycystic, oophoritis);
  • liver disease (cirrhosis, hepatitis, hepatic insufficiency, fibrosis);
  • renal failure, pyelonephritis, localized in the kidney tumor;
  • impaired functioning of the adrenal cortex (congenital or acquired, caused by injuries and illnesses);
  • systemic diseases (lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis);
  • thyroid disease;
  • the admission of certain drugs (antidepressants, adrenoblockers, hormones, neuroleptics);
  • premature births, miscarriages.

Diagnostic measures

Effective diagnosis includes laboratory tests, namely a blood test to determine the level of the hormone. He surrenders until 9-10 am, but not after awakening. Before delivery, it is desirable to avoid loads and stresses, not to carry out other medical manipulations. To obtain reliable results, the level is determined several times, which eliminates the influence of physiological fluctuations.

In some cases, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI or CT of the organs of the reproductive system, the brain, the thorax may be required.


Treatment of hyperprolactinemia involves the elimination of the underlying causes of increasing concentrations of the hormone. So, tumors are treated with medicinal or surgical means, with malignant nature, chemotherapy is indicated. If the condition has developed against the background of taking medications, it is necessary to cancel them. Diseases that affect prolactin levels also require treatment.And the elimination of physiological factors is not required: in this case, the level will return to normal independently.

The doctor may recommend taking medications whose main goals are to normalize the concentration of the hormone, restore reproductive functions and eliminate the effects of hyperprolactinemia. Dopamine receptor stimulants, hormones, and agents that inhibit prolactin production may be recommended. All medications and regimens are compiled by a specialist after a thorough study of the results of the examination.

Prevention of increased levels involves maintaining a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, moderate physical activity, the avoidance of stress and stress, as well as preventive examinations.

Hyperprolactinemia is not a sentence, and in most cases the condition is not dangerous and can be corrected. But it is important to identify it in time and start taking measures to eliminate it.

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