Prolactin is produced in the pituitary gland in the brain. It’s a hormone that stimulates breast milk production when a woman is pregnant or breast-feeding. Prolactin may be an important hormone to test when a person is experiencing symptoms of excessive prolactin. These include unexplained headaches, visual impairment, or a milky nipple discharge (galactorrhea).
This test may also be ordered when a woman is having irregular periods, or when a man has decreased sex drive or infertility. Prolactin levels are also often ordered in men as a follow-up to a low testosterone level.
Prolactin got its name from its first-known function--promoting milk production (lactation). Like all known hormones, prolactin does many things in the body. Prolactin is involved in more than 300 functions, including reproduction, metabolism, fluid retention, immune system and behavioral.
Methodology: Immunoassay (IA)
Fasting: Overnight fasting is preferred, but not required.
Water: Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated.
Medications: Take all medications as prescribed.
3-5 business days
Result turnaround times are estimates and not guaranteed. Due to factors outside of our control, such as weather, holidays, confirmation/repeat testing or equipment maintenance, our lab may require additional time to complete tests.