Also Known As
Prolactin Test, PRL, PRL Test
Purpose of the Prolactin Lab Test
Prolactin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, as well as the central nervous system, the uterus, mammary glands, and the immune system. It plays an essential role in milk production and lactation.
Prolactin testing can be used to:
- Determine the cause of abnormal breast milk production not related to pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Explore the reasons for irregular menstruation or infertility in women.
- Diagnose causes of erectile dysfunction or infertility in men.
- Detect, diagnose, or monitor prolactinomas, which are tumors that produce excess prolactin. Symptoms include unexplained lactation, headaches, and visual impairment.
What Does the Prolactin Test Measure?
A test for prolactin measures the levels of this hormone in your blood.
Who Should Take a Prolactin Blood Test?
This is often used as a fertility test for men and women. A prolactin lab test also may be recommended for the following symptoms:
- Irregular periods or abnormal nipple discharge in women.
- Decreased sex drive, nipple discharge, or low testosterone levels in men.
Additionally, post-menopausal women who experience fatigue, unexplained weight gain, constipation, or muscle pain may need to be tested for prolactin. These are symptoms of hypothyroidism, which can be caused by high prolactin levels.
Finally, a physician may recommend prolactin testing if you have symptoms that could be associated with prolactinomas.
Prolactin Hormone Test Preparation
You don’t have to do anything special to prepare for the blood sample collection.
Prolactin Level Test Results
Normal prolactin levels are less than 20 ng/mL for men and less than 25 ng/mL for women. Pregnancy naturally elevates prolactin levels, typically between 80 to 400 ng/mL. Aside from pregnancy, elevated prolactin levels could indicate a variety of issues, including prolactinomas or problems with the pituitary or thyroid glands, so it’s important to follow up with a physician for the next steps.
You may also undergo further hormone testing. And if you’re a woman with high prolactin levels, you may opt to take a breast cancer blood test, as some studies indicate you may have a slightly higher risk for the disease.
Where Can I Get a Test for Prolactin Done Near Me?
You can get a prolactin test for your peace of mind in just a few easy steps:
- Shop our fertility tests online, purchase the test, and download the lab order. (Physician approval isn’t necessary, depending on the state where you live.)
- Find the lab closest to you and schedule your blood work. We’re affiliated with Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, two of the top companies nationwide, so you have more than 4,000 locations to choose from across the country.
- Go to the lab with your blood work order and get tested.
- Find your results in your confidential Personalabs portal, usually within 2 to 10 business days. If you want to discuss your results, make a telemedicine appointment with one of our board-certified physicians.
Our wide-ranging collection of men’s health tests and women’s health tests put your health in your hands. These tests give you the information you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare. Shop our tests online today.