Prolactin is a peptide hormone produced by the anterior pituitary gland, the endometrium and the uterine decidual membrane. The name of the hormone is due to its ability to influence the lactation process. In addition, the biological effect of prolactin is to maintain the entire reproductive system of the female and male body.
This hormone affects the process of ovulation and conception, and is also responsible for the activity of sperm. When prolactin in a woman is below normal, it affects her health and well-being. Most often, the reduction of this hormone is the result of a disease or hormonal failure. In order not to trigger a possible disease, you need to know about the symptoms of low prolactin, as well as the methods of treatment of this problem.
Prolactin and female health
Prolactin has a stronger effect on women than on men. Therefore, when it is lowered or increased, this immediately affects the health of the woman and her well-being. Prolactin is responsible for the following processes in the female body:
- Puberty and the formation of secondary sexual characteristics.
- Emotional background in puberty.
- Protecting the fetus from the mother’s immune responses during pregnancy.
- The stage of formation of the respiratory system in the embryo.
- Breast milk production.
- Education maternal instincts.
- Water-salt balance.
During lactation, prolactin prevents ovulation and also protects a woman from hormonal disruption. It is this hormone that prevents you from getting pregnant while breastfeeding.
Why prolactin goes down
This hormone rarely decreases on its own. Usually, its jump is accompanied by a failure of other sex hormones. Even a small decrease in prolactin from the established norm can provoke significant changes in health and make changes in the normal functioning of the reproductive system.
Doctors call low prolactin hypoprolactinemia. Most doctors are confident that this hormone is reduced again, due to a violation of the anterior pituitary gland. Such pathologies often occur after severe bleeding during childbirth, which leads to necrosis of the pituitary gland. In this case, during a laboratory examination, there is a shortage of not only one prolactin, but also other hormones.
Signs of a decrease in prolactin in women
The hormone prolactin can lower its performance in a woman’s body for many reasons. Most of them will indicate serious pathological processes. Only occasionally, depression or a weak immune system can cause low prolactin. Therefore, every woman who has noticed signs of hormonal failure should go for a consultation with a therapist and pass the necessary tests. Most often, low prolactin can be determined by the following symptoms:
- Poor lactation after delivery.
- Slow puberty.
- Frequent miscarriages, especially in the early stages.
- Restless sleep and insomnia.
- Sharp weight gain.
- Persistent depression and nervousness.
- Violation of the menstrual cycle.
- Decreased libido.
Any of these signs indicate a violation of the sexual or vegetative system. The most common symptom of reduced prolactin is lack of breast milk. Sometimes low prolactin in women does not show any signs. That is why it is so important to carry out preventive measures regularly and to do analyzes every six months that examine the hormonal background and other important processes of the body.
The main reasons for the reduction of prolactin in women
Most often, prolactin below normal signals the pathologies occurring in the female reproductive system. In order not to start a disease that has shown itself to be a similar symptom, it is necessary to know what exactly provokes the decline of this hormone. The main reasons for causing a decrease in prolactin are the following processes:
- Necrosis of the pituitary gland, formed after unsuccessful childbirth.
- The formation of tumors in the brain.
- The postponed gestation period is more than 42 weeks.
- Treatment of malignant neoplasms.
- Traumatic brain injuries.
- Inflammatory diseases.
- Congenital abnormalities.
- Infectious diseases of the brain (tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, etc.).
- Hormonal medication.
Necrosis of the pituitary and tuberculosis causes an irreversible decrease in the level of the hormone prolactin. The use of drugs or traumatic brain injury only temporarily reduces its concentration. When complaining of low prolactin after 45 years, doctors often associate this failure with the manifestation of menopause symptoms.
Reduced prolactin during pregnancy
Normal and healthy pregnancy without complications involves a natural increase in prolactin within the established norm. This hormone has a strong effect on the stimulation of production of breast milk, as well as on the development of the fetus. It is under the influence of prolactin that the synthesis of surfactant in the baby’s respiratory organs is increased. According to numerous scientific studies, there is a link between the manifestation of hypoprolactinemia and an increased mortality rate in premature babies.
When prolactin begins to fall below the permissible values during pregnancy, one should be wary of premature births, and later problems with breastfeeding. At the same time, every woman should know that to be treated by folk methods in such a situation is strictly prohibited. It is necessary to consult a doctor for treatment, and in case of problems with lactation use the services of a breastfeeding consultant. If the above methods have failed, you should go on artificial feeding of the child.
Reduced prolactin in men
Prolactin has a strong influence on the reproductive system in men. This hormone is responsible for the activity of spermatozoa and successful fertilization. Men rarely suffer from low prolactin levels. More often, this hormone is elevated in them.
The level of prolactin may decrease due to natural factors and various diseases. Regardless of the reasons associated with this deviation, it is necessary to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis. Low prolactin in men affects the psyche and impairs sex life. Significantly reduced libido, deteriorating sperm quality, which adversely affects when trying to conceive a child. A man begins to suffer from insomnia, depression and nervous conditions.
The level of the hormone prolactin can decrease as a result of alcohol consumption, as well as cigarette smoking. Therefore, if you suspect its insufficiency, you should reconsider the attitude to bad habits, go in for sports and begin to eat right.
Diagnosis of reduced prolactin
If you suspect a low prolactin, you must pass a blood test for this hormone to determine its exact amount in the blood. If signs of its decline have occurred during treatment of a brain tumor, necrosis of the pituitary gland or any other diseases, it is necessary to approach the determination of the level of prolactin with special attention. In people with such pathologies, not only this hormone will be lowered, but all the others. Also, this decreases and serum prolactin. Therefore, when going to the clinic, it is necessary to pass an analysis for adrenocorticotropic, thyrotropic, somatotropic, follicle-stimulating and luteinizing hormone.
How to treat low prolactin
The method of treatment chosen depends only on the cause, which led to a decrease in the level of the hormone. Low prolactin in women and men is not a disease in itself. Therefore, it is strictly prohibited to treat hypoprolactinemia on its own. First you need to find out everything about the disease, which led to a decrease in this hormone. You can not try to normalize the hormonal background with the help of popular recipes. Only by identifying the cause of the pathology can the amount of prolactin in the blood be equalized. Self-treatment in this case will not only become ineffectual, but also aggravate the state of health.
Who to treat hormonal failure
Having identified the symptoms of low prolactin, you should immediately make an appointment to the nearest clinic. First of all, you need to ask for help from one of the following specialists:
A visit to the last doctor on the list will help correct the emotional background, which often fails at low prolactin. A man suffering from a decrease in this hormone must make an appointment with an andrologist. This doctor treats diseases of the reproductive system in men.
Drug treatment of hypoprolactinemia
The treatment of this pathology takes place by the method of restoring hormonal background. This is done with the help of drugs that contain prolactin. One of the most popular remedies in this category is the drug Dostinex. Low prolactin is also treated with other medicines, but most endocrinologists give their preference to him. It contains the following active ingredients:
Already half an hour after taking a hormonal agent, there is an improvement in the patient’s well-being. Low prolactin after Dostinex noticeably grows in its indices.
Doctors note that most of the tests submitted may differ from the actual state of the hormonal background. This happens because of the non-observance of elementary rules that should be followed before giving blood for analysis. To determine the amount of prolactin, venous blood is collected. Do it strictly on an empty stomach after an overnight fast. You should also carefully prepare for the analysis. For this you need:
- Do not engage in physical activity a day before the tests, exclude sexual contacts and any sport. You can not supercool, drink alcohol, go to the sauna, to the beach or to the solarium.
- A few hours before blood sampling, calm down and be at rest. You can not eat or drink anything but a glass of water.
With reduced prolactin, it begins after the first day of hormonal medication. Unpleasant symptoms associated with hormonal failure, will begin to disappear after a week of complex treatment. The recovery period will be much easier if you follow these guidelines:
- Do not be nervous and do not worry. The work of many vital processes of the body depends on the mental state.
- Get rid of bad habits. Smoking and alcohol adversely affect the state of health and normalization of prolactin levels in the blood.
- Stop drinking coffee, strong drinks, soda.
- Do not eat fried, smoked, canned and flour.
- Abandon chocolate and other desserts with a high sugar content.
- Eat healthy foods that contain saturated fatty acids.
A special diet and the rejection of bad habits will not only restore the body during hormonal disruption, but also serve as an excellent prevention.
The role of prolactin in the female body
The concentration of the hormone in the blood of women is of great importance, a decrease in it, like an increase, affects the general condition of the body:
- pregnancy and childbirth
- the formation of the mammary glands and their development,
- milk production during lactation,
- the degree of sexual desire
- the ratio of prolactin and progesterone affects the development of the fetus during pregnancy,
- depends on the level of prolactin, how strong the maternal instinct.
The reasons for the decrease in the level of prolactin in the blood
Prolactin is produced by the pituitary gland of the brain. Normally, the level of the hormone in the blood should be at least 40 mU / L. Often, reduced prolactin in women manifests itself already at 120 mU / L. The reasons for reducing the production of hormone in the body can be:
- brain and pituitary tumors,
- cranial injuries with brain damage,
- radiotherapy in the treatment of brain tumors,
- bleeding during childbirth,
- hormonal medication,
- diabetes insipidus
- inflammatory or neoplastic diseases of the ovaries,
- hereditary diseases of various organs of the endocrine system,
- age-related hormonal changes associated with menopause,
- poor nutrition or fasting for weight loss,
- heavy physical exertion
- hard experiences
- bad habits (smoking, drug addiction, addiction to alcohol).
The reason for reducing the level of the hormone may be illiterately organized diet with a low content of fats and carbohydrates. Vegetarianism, the rejection of protein foods also contributes to the reduction of hormone levels. Such a violation occurs as a result of the so-called Kremlin diet. Weight loss is based on the complete exclusion from the diet of flour products, sweets, cereals, honey, potatoes. Despite the fact that you can eat many other foods (fatty meats, fruits), the lack of carbohydrates in the diet leads to rapid weight loss. However, the level of prolactin in the blood decreases sharply.
It should be remembered: Nervous tension and stressful situations provoke an exacerbation of painful processes in the body, including the occurrence of hormonal disorders. If a woman is able to control herself and not to give in to emotions, then the likelihood of symptoms of low prolactin decreases.
Symptoms of reduced prolactin in women
With this hormonal disorder, the woman has the following symptoms:
- Significant excess of normal body weight.
- Selection of colostrum from the mammary glands.
- Delay or absence of menstruation.
- Acne on the skin.
- Difficulties at conception.
- The appearance of excess hair on the face and body.
- Obsessive fears, nervousness, sleep disturbances.
The rate of prolactin varies widely, depending on age, increases during pregnancy. Reducing the level of the hormone in the early stages can lead to miscarriage. If in recent weeks there has been a decrease in the level of the hormone, this may indicate the possibility of exceeding the duration of pregnancy. Careful observation of the patient's condition is required, so that if complications that are dangerous for the child and the mother appear, induce labor artificially.
After the birth of a child, a woman with a reduced level of prolactin may not have milk, or its production will be insignificant. In this case, to improve milk production, women are prescribed hormone therapy.
Diagnosis of hormonal abnormalities
Diagnosis is carried out using laboratory tests, which directs the gynecologist, endocrinologist, neurologist or therapist. The reason for sending the patient for the study of hormones are usually chronic diseases of the liver, thyroid gland, ovaries, as well as pathologies such as late puberty or late menopause, osteoporosis, bone structure disorder leading to bone fractures.
Neurosis and other neuropsychiatric disorders also become an occasion to conduct additional examinations. Tumor diseases of the organs of the endocrine system, the appearance of lumps in the breast should not be overlooked, since a decrease in prolactin often becomes a concomitant symptom.
Diagnostic methods for reducing prolactin levels and its causes
To conduct an immunochemical analysis of prolactin, the patient takes blood from a vein to be examined by her physicochemical methods. An immunochemical method for studying venous blood requires some preparation of the patient. In order for the result to be accurate, it is necessary:
- give up sports and other physical activities the day before,
- refrain from sexual intercourse for 24 hours before analysis,
- cancel bath procedures and sauna on the eve of the study,
- conduct research on an empty stomach (the last meal should take place no later than the evening of the previous day).
Blood from a vein is taken in the morning at 8-11 o'clock. Before the analysis it is impossible to smoke. It is necessary to have a good rest, avoid stress, as the level of the hormone can vary dramatically depending on various factors.
Video: Features of delivery of the analysis on prolactin
If the analysis showed that the content of prolactin in the blood is low, then diagnostics of the diseases that caused the detected abnormality using ultrasound (X-ray), X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is carried out. These methods can detect the presence of tumors, tissue damage as a result of infectious and inflammatory diseases.
Treatment with reduced prolactin
Если пониженный пролактин не связан с болезнями, то для его повышения бывает достаточно устранить причину: изменить рацион питания, бросить курить и вести здоровый образ жизни, заняться физическим укреплением организма, проводить закаливание.
In case of detection of diseases, comprehensive treatment with drugs is carried out, aimed at combating infection, restoring the hormonal composition of the blood, normalizing metabolism, strengthening the immune system. Symptoms of lowering the level of the hormone with neurosis are eliminated with the help of drugs with a calming effect.
Upon detection of tumors of the pituitary, ovaries, adrenal glands and other endocrine glands, surgical removal of pathological formations. In the future, the patient should be under the supervision of doctors of various profiles in order to prevent recurrence and damage to other organs.
How prolactin works
In the course of research, scientists found out that the effect of this hormone is based on maintaining the breeding function. And its main target organ are the mammary glands. Therefore, all of its names, which include lactotropic or lactogenic hormone, mammatropin, as well as the mammotropic and luteotropic hormone, one way or another, indicate the main organ.
In adolescence, prolactin promotes breast growth. Further, it causes their growth and development, increasing the amount of glandular tissue and ducts. In the last trimester of pregnancy and immediately after childbirth, colostrum is formed due to the action of mammotropin and its conversion into full-fledged milk.
The main organ that produces prolactin is the pituitary gland. However, other bodies are involved in this process:
- mammary gland,
- the immune system.
The pituitary gland secretes prolactin under the supervision of the hypothalamus, which inhibits the production of this hormone with dopamine. If dopamine stops flowing into the blood, the concentration of prolactin increases. The main stimulants of mammotropin production are estrogens.
The concentration of prolactin increases significantly after childbirth, when the baby is first applied to the breast. Receptors are located on the nipples, and their stimulation serves as a signal to the hypothalamus, which blocks the production of dopamine, thereby increasing the concentration of prolactin. At the same time, during pregnancy, milk from the mammary glands is not secreted due to the hormone progesterone, which is produced by the placenta. After the birth of the placenta, the concentration of the hormone significantly decreases, causing lactation.
The hormone prolactin is crucial when planning a pregnancy. With an increase in its level, follicle-stimulating hormone is inhibited. As a result, the follicle is not able to fully develop. Ovulation will be possible only if it is possible to reduce the level of prolactin. It is an increased level of prolactin in the postpartum period that prevents re-pregnancy, allowing a woman to feed her baby.
How are prolactin norms determined?
Determining the concentration of the hormone is produced in the laboratory by venous blood sampling. What determines the level of mammotoprin?
Despite the fact that the amount of prolactin in the blood is individual for each woman and depends on many factors, these indicators should not go beyond certain limits.
- In newborns, the concentration of prolactin is very high, ranging from 1700 to 2000 mU / l.
- During the first year of life, this figure is equal to 628 mU / l.
- At the age of 1 to 10 years, its concentration varies in the range of 40-400 mU / l.
- The rate of prolactin in women of reproductive age is 40-600 mU / L.
- With the onset of menopause, the amount of prolactin decreases to 25-400 mU / l and continues to fall.
Manifestations and causes of reduced prolactin
Prolactin below the established rate is rare and diagnosed in only 11% of women. However, such changes can lead to impaired reproductive function and even cause the development of infertility.
The following symptoms may indicate a reduced level of mammotoprin:
- after birth, breast milk is not excreted, and if it is excreted, in small quantities,
- impossibility of conception,
- menstrual disorders,
- miscarriages in early pregnancy.
The fact that prolactin is lowered may be indicated by frequent headaches, vascular problems, mental disorders, swelling and hair growth in places uncharacteristic for women.
Low levels of prolactin (hypoprolactinemia) may indicate the presence of serious diseases, so women are carefully examined to determine how to increase the level of lactogenic hormone in the blood.
One of the reasons may be the following states:
- pituitary apoplexy (Sheehan syndrome),
- excessive bleeding caused by various factors, such as childbirth,
- postponed pregnancy, which is diagnosed if 42 weeks have passed since the last menstruation,
- head injury causing damage to the pituitary gland,
- pituitary tuberculosis,
- some types of tumors in the pituitary gland,
- head area irradiation
- hormonal drugs.
Normally, the concentration of prolactin in the blood decreases significantly after 50 years, that is, during the period when most women have menopause. Such symptoms indicate a normal stage of development and are not any pathology, and therefore do not require treatment.
Ways to restore production of prolactin
The causes of Sheehan's syndrome are in difficult labor, during which blood loss exceeds 500 ml. In this case, the formation of prolactin is impaired, however, over time, the functions of the pituitary gland are restored, which makes breastfeeding possible.
Prolonged pregnancy is a rare phenomenon, since if a woman is unable to give birth by natural means by the due date, she is undergoing a cesarean section. In this case, the production of breast milk becomes possible only after hormonal therapy.
Traumatic brain injury leads to a decrease in production of mammotropin. However, after 3-6 months, the functions of the pituitary gland, as a rule, are completely restored, and along with these, the characteristic symptoms disappear. The presence of a tumor in the pituitary gland, radiation therapy or tuberculosis that develops in this organ permanently destroys its tissue, which means that the hormone ceases to be produced. Therefore, neither conception nor breastfeeding is possible in this case.
If the hormone level falls below normal due to hormonal drugs, the normal concentration of the hormone is almost always restored after they are canceled. In all other cases, treatment is aimed at eliminating not the causes, but the symptoms of hypoprolactinemia by administering various drugs, including antidepressants and diuretics.
The use of drugs, the selection of the correct diet and regimen
Eliminate headaches help drugs that improve cerebral circulation. But their choice should be treated very carefully, as some of them can influence the function of the pituitary gland. One of these drugs is Vasobral. Despite all its positive qualities, it was noticed that it reduces the production of prolactin. However, its true influence on this factor has not yet been studied.
Special attention in case of hypoprolactinemia is given to nutrition. To compensate for the lack of hormone to help animal products:
- milk and milk products,
- seafood, which include fish and sea kale.
Equally important is a good rest and sleep. It should be remembered that the most active production of prolactin is carried out at night when a person is sleeping. And by the morning of his concentration in the blood is sharply reduced. In addition, frequent sleep deprivation causes a hormonal imbalance, which negatively affects the production of mamotropin.
Bad habits are another factor that reduces the concentration of lactogenic hormone. At the same time, the term “harmful” means not only smoking and alcohol abuse, but also an addiction to coffee.
What role does prolactin play in a woman's body?
Such a vital hormone, like prolactin, is produced in the anterior pituitary gland. Receptors for it are located in many parts of the body and in different organs. For example, they can be found in the mammary glands, liver, lungs, heart, and even in the nervous system. This pituitary hormone has the following functions:
- provides education and milk production for women
- affects the formation of mammary glands,
- regulates the menstrual cycle in women
- produces some analgesic effect,
- provides an orgasm after intercourse,
- affects the normal development of the fetus during pregnancy,
- responsible for the formation of maternal instinct,
- participates in many immune processes in the body,
- leads to a decrease in sex hormones in men and women.
Prolactin norm for women
Prolactin during the day does not stand out in the same amount. Its production is increased at night and peaks during REM sleep (early morning). Increased prolactin levels are often associated with intense physical exertion, due to the ingestion of a certain food or after intercourse. Also, the concentration of this hormone depends largely on the age of the woman, and during pregnancy begins to grow rapidly.
Normally, in women, the level of prolactin should not be less than 40 mU / l. A slightly lower concentration of this hormone at 120 mU / l is also considered. In identifying such indicators, we can talk about the presence of a certain problem in the body of a woman, which requires medical intervention.
Symptoms of reduced prolactin
The symptoms of reduced prolactin include:
- weight gain
- the occurrence of sleep related disorders
- causeless anxiety
- heightened hairiness, which is observed throughout the body,
- decrease in the amount of breast milk after childbirth or their complete absence,
- the impossibility of pregnancy,
- violation of the menstrual cycle,
- spontaneous abortions in very early pregnancy,
- the appearance of acne,
- frequent migraines or headaches,
- appearance of obsessive ideas and phobias,
- development of edema.
The development of certain symptoms depends on the individual characteristics of the woman. In some, a decrease in the level of this hormone may not be noticed at all.
The use of various folk remedies also has a positive effect on the woman's body in the presence of low levels of prolactin. Using simple recipes, you can not only normalize the hormones without harm to health, but also improve your well-being. The following folk remedies are popular:
- application of leaves and flowers of raspberry. This plant is a natural source of estrogen and can increase the level of prolactin. For the preparation of healing infusion 2 tbsp. l dry raw materials need to pour 210 ml of boiling water. When the liquid is cooled, it can be used as a tea. During the day you can drink up to 500 ml of this infusion,
- sage treatment. This plant has a positive effect on the functioning of the pituitary gland, which leads to the normalization of prolactin production. To obtain the medicine you need 50 g of sage pour 950 ml of boiling water. For a positive result, you need to take 100 ml of infusion three times a day,
- use of fennel. This plant is a natural stimulator of prolactin production. For the preparation of healing infusion should use 1 tbsp. l fennel seed. They are poured 210 ml of boiling water. The finished liquid is consumed in small portions between meals.
How to prevent a decrease in prolactin levels at home?
In the absence of serious health problems, every woman is able to independently establish the production of prolactin in her body. To do this, you must adhere to the following rules:
- It is very important to completely stop smoking, drinking alcohol and other bad habits.
- It is recommended not only to eat rationally, but also to include animal products in your daily menu. It is necessary to eat fresh meat, fish, seafood, eggs, milk, kefir, cottage cheese, hard cheese every day.
- We must not forget about the full rest and sleep, since the active production of prolactin occurs at night.
- Coffee should be consumed in moderation. During the day it is recommended to drink 1-2 cups.
- It is necessary to lead an active lifestyle, play sports.
- It is necessary to engage in timely treatment and prevention of various diseases, including gynecological.
Only if such rules are observed a woman can not worry about the problems with a decrease in the level of prolactin.
Why does hypoprolactinemia develop?
First, find out the reasons why prolactin is reduced in women. Often, such a deviation is associated with serious violations in the functioning of the body, and is observed when:
- Sheehan syndrome. This pathology most often develops on the background of a difficult generic process, when the patient loses more than half a liter of blood. With the development of this syndrome, serious malfunctions in the adenohypophysis function occur, therefore, a woman needs immediate medical intervention to stabilize the condition.
- Large blood loss, which can be caused by various factors - uterine bleeding, difficult childbirth, excessively heavy menstruation, etc.
- Post-pregnancy Among the main causes of reduced prolactin in a pregnant woman can be noted the delayed fetus. We are talking about her in the event that childbirth does not occur after 42 weeks of pregnancy. This situation has serious consequences for the child, as well as for the very future mother, so the only way out is to cause labor through medication, or to perform an immediate cesarean section.
- Transferred TBI, which damages the integrity of the cells of the pituitary and hypothalamus.
- Tumors localized in the brain, which are also one of the causes of low prolactin in women.
- Tuberculosis of the pituitary gland.
All of the above points refer to the pathological reasons for the fact that prolactin in women is reduced. If we talk about factors that have no relation to diseases, then hypoprolactinemia can cause:
- long hunger strike (for weight loss or for the purpose of healing the body),
- adherence to strict diets or “shock regimes” for weight loss,
- uncontrolled or prolonged use of certain medications,
- poor nutrition,
- bad habits.
Another reason for the low level of prolactin in women is the previously conducted radiation therapy, which was used to treat GM tumors. The impact of rays on the pituitary gland leads to inhibition of the production of prolactin, as well as other pituitary hormones.
If we talk about reduced prolactin in women, then not only its causes, but also possible consequences are important here. And without proper treatment, they can be the most serious and dangerous!
Signs of low prolactin
Reduced prolactin in women has its own symptoms, the presence of which can not be closed to the eyes. So, for this deviation is characteristic:
- unreasonable weight gain
- sleep disturbance, restlessness and insomnia,
- bouts of unreasonable fear, anxiety,
- the appearance of hair in unusual female physiology areas of the body.
Of course, these symptoms of low prolactin in women are characteristic of any hormonal disruption occurring in the body. That is, they do not always speak about the development of hypoprolactinemia. Specific signs of such a deviation are too few, so it can be suspected only by indirect clinical manifestations.
So, the fact that reduced prolactin in women may indicate:
- decrease in the amount of breast milk or its complete disappearance,
- the inability of a woman to become pregnant
- shift in the menstrual cycle
- absence of menstruation for several months (amenorrhea),
- spontaneous abortion,
- rash on face and body.
Other signs of reduced prolactin in women are manifested due to intense headaches, panic attacks, the appearance of phobias and the formation of edema of the extremities, face, abdomen.
Features of diagnostics
Reduced prolactin in women, accompanied by the above symptoms, requires special attention not only from the patient, but also from her attending physician. But it is impossible to make a diagnosis on the basis of a clinical blood test alone, since hypoprolactinemia is not a separate disease, but only one of the accompanying signs of a pathological process occurring in the female body. To find out what kind of disease takes place, it is necessary to conduct a number of instrumental diagnostic procedures, namely:
- Ultrasound of the pelvic organs,
- Brain CT,
- mammography (in women older than 30 years, and only when necessary).
These diagnostic manipulations will help to understand whether a decrease in prolactin in women is not caused by the presence of tumors in the mammary glands or brain. Along with instrumental methods of research it is necessary to conduct laboratory tests to determine the level of other pituitary hormonal units.
Treatment and possible consequences
If symptoms of reduced prolactin appear in women, it means that urgent measures should be taken. So, before dealing with the issue of treatment of hypoprolactinemia, it is important to find out why it originated.Otherwise, normalize the level of female stress hormone will succeed only for a short period of time.
In a situation where prolactin is lowered in women who have recently given birth, special drugs are prescribed that contain this hormonal component. They are aimed at stimulating the production of breast milk for an infant.
To eliminate the signs of hypoprolactinemia, drugs from the group of diuretics, antidepressants, decongestants, etc. may be prescribed. However, these tools only remove the unpleasant symptoms, so they are used only as an aid.
If prolactin is lower than normal in women is due to tumor processes, radiation or chemotherapy is used. In severe cases, doctors may resort to surgical removal of the tumor.
Traditional methods of therapy
For relatively harmless causes of hypoprolactinemia, traditional medicine can be used. The most effective are:
- Raspberry tea. Raspberry has a diuretic effect, and is also a source of estrogen. But you should not abuse it, because excessive consumption of such tea can lead to disruption of the heart.
- Infusion of sage normalizes the pituitary gland, therefore, production of prolactin is improved. For the preparation of a healing agent, 5 tablespoons of dried sage leaves should be poured with a liter of boiling water and infused in a closed container for 40-60 minutes. Strain. Take half a cup twice a day.
Treatment with folk remedies is a rather long process that can last several months. If we talk about how much more therapy needs to be continued, if prolactin has returned to normal in women, then in order to consolidate the results, the treatment course needs to be extended for another 7-14 days.
Consequences of hypoprolactinemia
If untreated, hypoprolactinemia can lead to abnormalities in the nervous system (nervous breakdowns, baseless fears, memory impairment and loss of attention) or the brain. In the presence of a tumor that increases in size, a decrease in visual acuity may occur. The neoplasm will gradually begin to put pressure on the optic nerves, and this is the reason for such a serious disruption in the eyes.
As you can see, if prolactin is lowered in a woman, it can signal serious health problems. Sometimes the level of the hormone can normalize itself, but often the patient needs the help of a qualified specialist - endocrinologist, therapist or gynecologist. Comprehensive examinations and well-chosen therapies reduce the risk of developing dangerous complications of hyperprolactinemia, so a woman should not take any steps unless the reasons for such a deviation are known.
Low prolactin in women
The hormone is produced in the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It is the central organ of the endocrine system, which regulates the hormones hypothalamus. A small part is synthesized by the placenta, mammary glands and lymphocytes during the period of immunity activation.
Regulates and inhibits the synthesis of prolactin in the pituitary gland dopamine - a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. If the level of dopamine is reduced, prolactin increases dramatically. All these processes are natural and are indicators of the norm, but as soon as this complex chain fails, oscillations begin, which cause various disorders and disorders.
In order for hormones to return to normal, it is important to adjust the work of the endocrine system, before finding out the causes of this disorder. Otherwise, violations will occur again, and hormones will return to normal for a short time.
The main task of prolactin is to prepare the female body for the birth of a child and breastfeeding. Due to the effect of the hormone, the mammary glands begin to develop, during pregnancy the number of ducts and lobes increases, and the process of maturation of colostrum starts, which is converted into breast milk.
While the placenta produces progesterone, the lactation process does not start, but as soon as a baby is born, the ducts open. In this complex process, malfunctions can also occur, in which case a decrease in prolactin leads to the loss of milk, a woman cannot feed her nursing baby.
The causes of a decrease in the hormone are many, ranging from the usual psychological disorder or, quite simply, stress to the formation of tumors in the brain.
Signs of reduced prolactin
Hormonal fluctuations are not always manifested by severe symptoms, and violations may not be known until there are problems with conception, as well as other symptoms. Any sign of impairment should be a reason to go to a doctor. All symptoms of the disorder are associated with impaired functioning of the reproductive system. In addition, there are mental disorders and metabolic disorders.
Common symptoms include:
- excessive hair growth on the body and face
- phobias and fears.
Women are also characterized by infertility and difficulty in conceiving. If you still succeed in getting pregnant, arbitrary miscarriages in the early period are not excluded. After birth, as a rule, there is a shortage of milk or complete absence. Symptoms may vary with concomitant diseases or physical characteristics of the body.
Causes of low prolactin
Once a woman has a low hormone level, it is important to conduct a full examination and identify the cause of the violation. Reduced prolactin in women in most cases is a sign of severe and dangerous disorders in the body. Only knowing the etiology of fluctuations, can we return them back to normal and prevent this from happening in the future.
The main reasons for low prolactin include:
- pituitary apoplexy or Sheehan syndrome,
- head injuries
- massive blood loss
- pituitary tuberculosis,
- tumor processes
- conditions after radiation and chemotherapy,
Each of these factors not only reduces the normal level of prolactin, but also has serious consequences for the body. Apoplexy of the pituitary gland disrupts the secretion of the hormone, resulting in a woman's menstrual disorder, a noticeable decrease in body weight and low blood pressure. If, despite irregular menstruation, it is possible to become pregnant, low prolactin leads to heavy labor with large blood loss.
True post-pregnancy gestation is rarely diagnosed, and if more than 42 weeks elapse from the last menstruation, surgical delivery is performed. Hormonal therapy is needed to stimulate milk production. Typically, prolactin drops to normal levels and remains in place after cessation of lactation, and all symptoms disappear.
Prolactin levels are restored in women and after massive bleeding. Dehydration and blood loss disrupts the formation of a hormone, but since the pituitary gland is not damaged, after some time after the cause is removed, everything returns to normal, and the symptoms do not bother.
Head injuries lead to a temporary decrease in the level of the pituitary hormone, the rehabilitation period is up to 6 months. All this time, hormonal stimulation is important, so that there is no imbalance against the background of reduced prolactin.
But tumor processes, pituitary tuberculosis and destroy the tissues of the organ of the endocrine system irrevocably. Breastfeeding and pregnancy under these conditions is almost impossible.
Hormonal drugs that are used for contraception and those used to stabilize hormonal levels can reduce prolactin. Tumor-active components also affect the pituitary gland.
In order to increase the low level of prolactin, conduct a comprehensive therapy. Treatment is prescribed on the basis of a survey conducted jointly by several specialists. Consultation with a gynecologist, endocrinologist, as well as a neurologist and psychotherapist is obligatory.
To suppress symptoms, a course of antidepressants and diuretics is prescribed, in order to stimulate the production of breast milk, hormonal therapy is given.
In addition to drug treatment, it is important to observe proper nutrition. Individually selected diet, which includes lean meat products, dairy products, fish, as well as foods containing calcium, iodine and iron. If you are overweight, it is recommended to spend fasting days, but not more than one per week. Reduced prolactin is not a reason to starve, it can be dangerous, so this technique is chosen only with the approval of the attending physician.
If the cause of hormonal fluctuations in a tumor of the pituitary, adrenal glands or ovaries, surgery and radiation therapy is carried out.
The role of lactation hormone in a woman's body
Lactation hormone is produced in the brain, more precisely in the pituitary gland, and the receptors that perceive it are located in different organs - in the breasts, in the heart, in the lung, and even in the nervous system. The functions of prolactin are as follows:
- responsible for the lactation of a woman after childbirth,
- takes part in the formation of the mammary glands,
- affects the monthly female cycle,
- has an analgesic effect,
- provides an orgasm after intimacy
- responsible for the proper formation of the fetus,
- activates maternal instinct,
- affects the immune processes in the body,
- in a certain period reduces the level of sex hormones.
How are hormone rates determined
The amount of this hormone in the blood individually, it depends on a large number of factors. In women of fertile age, the lactation hormone normally ranges from 40 to 600 honey / l. After menopause, there is a natural decrease in prolactin - from 25 to 400 honey / l.
I must say that prolactin deficiency is found in only 10% of women. In this case, the woman appears various violations in reproductive function, and even infertility develops.
Symptoms and causes of low hormone levels
Symptoms that may indicate low prolactin in women:
- after the birth of the baby, the mother has no milk or is excreted in small quantities,
- failures in the monthly cycle,
In addition, in women, low prolactin levels provoke frequent migraines, vascular pathologies, mental disorders, edema, and the appearance of hair in places uncharacteristic for the female sex.
Reduced levels of prolactin in women is called hypoprolactinemia, this condition can be the cause of various serious illnesses, so it is important for women to be regularly examined, and to find out the quantitative indicator of the hormone in the blood.
Prolactin (below normal) may decrease with the following diseases and atypical conditions:
- Sheehan syndrome,
- bleeding having a different nature - injuries, childbirth, etc.,
- postponement of childbirth,
- pathology of the pituitary gland due to traumatic brain injury,
- tuberculous damage to the pituitary gland,
- tumor processes in the brain, in particular in the pituitary gland,
- large radial load in the head,
- long-term use of hormonal drugs.
Reduced prolactin in menopausal women is the norm, so a decrease in its concentration after 50 years is not considered a pathological process. Prolactin is reduced due to physiological changes, and no therapy is required.
Signs and causes of increased prolactin
High levels of prolactin can also be observed as a result of physiological (natural) and pathological causes.
Symptoms for hyperprolactinemia are as follows:
- failures in the menstrual cycle
- galactorrhea - engorgement and swelling of the mammary gland, the release of milk or colostrum from the mammary glands in the absence of childbirth and lactation,
When a woman increases prolactin, she may not notice any signs other than the sudden growth of the mammary gland. Such a phenomenon should already be the reason for contacting a competent specialist.
Pathological causes leading to an increase in prolactin concentration may be as follows:
- pituitary tumors and cysts,
- hypothalamic diseases,
- pathological processes in the thyroid gland, liver, kidneys, ovaries, tumor processes in these organs.
As regards physiological causes, prolactin does not increase due to diseases, but due to natural conditions:
- lactation period
- hypoglycemia, which develops against the backdrop of strict diets and fasting,
- after intimacy
- when playing sports or with high physical exertion,
- if the nipple area is irritated by poor-quality underwear,
- after a massage of the cervical spine or physiotherapy procedures on the collar area,
- under stress
- as a result of the use of certain drugs.
Sometimes the reasons for an increased prolactin cannot be established; then they talk about idiopathic hyperprolactinemia.
Diagnostics of failure in the concentration of prolactin in the blood deals with the endocrinologist. It is he who prescribes laboratory blood tests and other research.
Blood is taken in the morning on an empty stomach. Since the menstrual cycle is directly related to this hormone, it is necessary to take the analysis on certain days of the cycle. Usually it is 6-10 days. Two days before the intended analysis it is necessary to refrain from intimacy and from excessive physical exertion.
Often, along with prolactin, the doctor prescribes other laboratory tests, in particular, the study of thyroid hormones. These tests can be taken at the same time.
The instrumental methods of research include CT and MRI of the brain. Such examinations are prescribed to patients in whom an increase in prolactin is diagnosed for the first time. Using instrumental diagnostics, the size of the pituitary gland is estimated and the possible presence of neoplastic processes is detected. If necessary, the doctor may prescribe an ophthalmologic examination - it is necessary to detect changes in the retina of the eye.
Prolactin receptors are present in almost all organs, but it has the greatest effect on the female mammary glands. The main function of the hormone is to ensure lactation by:
- stimulate an increase in the number of milk fractions and ducts during pregnancy,
- promote the maturation of colostrum and increase milk production.
After delivery, prolactin:
- forms the "maternal instinct",
- inhibits ovulation and prevents pregnancy during lactation, affecting the level of estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone,
- protects breast cells from malignancy.
- the formation of sexual characteristics,
- control of testosterone secretion in men
- participation in the mechanisms of sexual arousal, orgasm, maturation of sperm,
- analgesic effect
- participation in immune reactions, in particular in the work of lymphocytes in inflammatory and infectious processes,
- stimulating the growth of new blood vessels
- regulation of salt metabolism.
In addition to pregnancy and suckling of the breast by a child, stress, depression, psychosis, pain syndrome, alcohol and certain drugs are contributing to an increase in the level of prolactin in the blood. This indicates that this hormone plays an important role in increasing the adaptive abilities of a person.
Increasing the level of prolactin during pregnancy is a natural process, but what if the level of the hormone is elevated for another reason? How to reduce prolactin in folk and medical ways, we will tell on our website.
The danger of increasing prolactin in men, you will learn here.
Found nipple discharge? This is the main symptom of hyperprolactinemia. Here http://gormonexpert.ru/gormony/prolaktin/giperprolaktinemiya-u-zhenshhin.html consider the main symptoms of this disease and methods of therapy.
The concentration of prolactin in the blood of men is relatively small. Normal limits are 3-15 ng / ml. A slight elevation of the upper limit may be associated with physical activity, stress, intercourse or a meal.
The rates of prolactin in women vary depending on the stage of the menstrual cycle and the trimester of pregnancy.
Indicators for non-pregnant women are as follows:
- follicular phase of the cycle - 4.5-33 ng / ml,
- luteal - 4.9-40 ng / ml,
- ovulatory - 6.3-49 ng / ml.
In the event of pregnancy, the concentration of prolactin increases. Its maximum value is observed for a period of 21-25 weeks, then the level gradually decreases. Normal bounds are 34-386 ng / ml.
In some laboratories, the level of hormones in the blood is determined in honey / l, nmoll / ml and other units of measurement. In this case, you should be guided by the standard indicators given in the form with the results of the analysis.
Prolactin lowered: causes in women and men
In women, prolactin deficiency (hypoprolactinemia) may be associated with:
- post-term pregnancy - prolongation of the term of carrying a child 10-14 days above the norm,
- Sheehan syndrome - necrosis (infarction) of the pituitary gland as a result of heavy bleeding during or after childbirth.
Other causes of hypoprolactinemia that are relevant to both sexes:
- опухоли гипофиза, операции на нем,
- травмы мозга,
- эндокринные нарушения – сахарный и несахарный диабет,
- перенесенные инфекционные заболевания,
- radiation therapy,
- туберкулез гипофиза,
- taking certain drugs - anticonvulsant, dopaminergic, estrogen antagonists, cyclosporin A, calcitonin and others.
Reduced prolactin is relatively rare. Minor deviation is most often a variant of the norm, but requires diagnosis, especially in the presence of pathological symptoms.