Prolactin Irregularities

If you are having difficulties becoming pregnant, it may be due to an irregularity in your prolactin levels. If your have elevated prolactin, this can inhibit ovulation and menstruation. Prolactin levels can be determined through a simple blood test. Normal prolactin levels in women are somewhere between 30 and 600 mIU/I. If your levels measure towards the high end of this spectrum or above, you may be suffering from a prolactin irregularity.

Types of Irregularities

There are two main types of prolactin irregularities. It is possible to suffer from both at one time.


Galactorrhea is a condition in which you begin to produce milk spontaneouly, without being pregnant or having given birth recently. It is a result of high prolactic levels. Other symptoms include:

  • enlarged breasts
  • painful or tender breasts
  • irregular menstruation
  • loss of sex drive
  • infertility


Hyperprolactinemia literally means too much prolactin in the blood. If you have hyperprolactinemia, you may also have galactorrhea, though this is not always the case. Symptoms of high prolactin levels include:

  • prolactin levels at or above 600 mIU/I
  • infertility
  • irregular menstruation
  • headache
  • reduced sex drive
  • vision problems

Causes of High Prolactin Levels

There are a few things that may be responsible for your prolactin irregularities. In order to treat your infertility, you will need to determine what is at the bottom of your elevated prolactin levels.


Prolactinoma is one of the more common causes of prolactin-induced infertility. Prolactinoma causes a tumor to grow on your pituitary gland. This tumor secretes excess prolactin into your body. About 10% of the population have these tumors. They usually do not pose any health risks, besides infertility, though sometimes they can interfere with vision.

Prescription Drugs

Prescription drugs can cause excess secretion of prolactin. Some anti-depressants, painkillers, and opiates block dopamine, preventing prolactin secretion from being inhibited. This can cause your prolactin levels to rise.

Other Causes

Other more rare causes of prolactin irregularities include:

  • thyroid disease
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • shingles

For help with female fertility, find out more about FertilAid for Women.

Table of Contents
1. Too much prolactin?
2. Is your prolactin too high?
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