What Do You need To Know Before The Prolactin Test?

A prolactin test is a medical procedure that estimates the levels of the prolactin hormone in your bloodstream. Like all other body hormones, the prolactin hormone is a very important biochemical to track as a health indicator.

The pituitary gland of the brain creates the hormone prolactin. Prolactin is present in the female’s body, but when they are pregnant or have just given birth, the level of prolactin increases in the bloodstream. So, the prolactin hormone is important to track during pregnancy.

High prolactin levels are sometimes possible in men and women without pregnancy. In this article, you will learn more about the prolactin test, including the cost of the prolactin test.  

Symptoms for the prolactin test

Your physician will recommend the prolactin test in case of the following symptoms for women. Irregular periods or the absence of periods- Prolactin increases in the composition of the blood when there is an absence of periods, or there is an irregularity in the menstrual cycle.

Moreover, infertility in the woman can be determined and diagnosed with the help of a prolactin test.

  • Breast milk discharge– Breast milk discharge when the woman is pregnant or after childbirth is very common. However, if the woman is discharging breast milk without pregnancy and childbirth, she needs a prolactin test. The gynecologist will recommend a prolactin test to understand the cause of the symptom.
  • Tenderness of the breast– Unnatural tenderness of the breast tissue also shows a need for a prolactin test to understand the cause.
  • Menopausal signs– Hormonal fluctuations, including prolactin level fluctuation, happen when the woman goes through menopause. Menopausal signs like hot flashes and vaginal dryness often arise. In such cases, you need to get female hormone levels checked. These tests include the prolactin test.

Symptoms for prolactin test in men

Sometimes, the andrologists might suggest prolactin tests for men. Men might also see fluctuations in the level of prolactin if they suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Decreased sex drive– The increase in prolactin levels shows a decreased sex drive in men. Men may also suffer from the inability to get an erection due to prolactin level fluctuation.
  • Breast enlargement and milk production– The sign of breast milk production and breast enlargement is very rare among male patients. If such signs are seen, checking for prolactin levels in their bloodstream is best. Additionally, vision problems and unexplained headaches are common for patients with prolactin level fluctuations.

Causes of prolactin level fluctuation

There are several reasons why prolactin levels fluctuate in the body. If you see any of the following conditions with the symptoms, it is best to check for prolactin test costs with your doctor.

  • Prolactinoma– The occurrence of a benign tumor in the pituitary gland can lead to the over-secretion of prolactin. This causes instability in the levels of prolactin for the patient.
  • Hypothalamus function– Diseases that affect the hypothalamus and cause dysfunction can also cause issues with prolactin levels in the body.prolactin test
  • Hypothalamus function– Diseases that affect the hypothalamus and cause dysfunction can also cause issues with prolactin levels in the body.
  • Anorexia– The development of eating disorders and slimming down of the body in an unnatural way can lead to the fluctuation of prolactin levels in women and men.

How are prolactin tests done in the lab?

The prolactin test is very easy and does not need any extra preparation from the patient. The test is done on the blood sample collected from the patient. The patient can deposit a sample at a lab or hospital. These days, a blood sample is also collected by lab professionals who go on house visits. This simplifies the test procedure for the patient as it happens in the comfort of their homes.

A small needle is used to collect the blood sample. The patient usually does not face any complications because of the prolactin test. After the sample is collected, the patient only faces a bit of sting in the skin. Some people might feel a bit of pain after the test, but the pain goes away after some time.

The test result will come across as a number indicating the prolactin range in the blood. The prolactin levels can be high or low. Sometimes the prolactin levels fluctuate because of stress and overeating before the test. The doctor might suggest the test twice to confirm any disease that might cause the fluctuation. The prolactin test cost ranges from Rs 200 to Rs 600 in the best pathology labs in the country. The test cost can also go down when taken under combined test packages.


The prolactin test can be recommended for men or women, depending on the signs seen in the patient. The doctor will take up the diagnosis of the cause behind prolactin level fluctuation. Based on the diagnosis, the patient is recommended a treatment approach and other medical therapy.

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