When do they give prolactin? Prolactin - what is it?
Many women have to pass various tests to control hormonal levels. Most often, it is necessary when planning and managing pregnancy, when selecting contraceptives and in diagnosing diseases. In the female body there are periodic fluctuations in the level of hormones, so for the correct result, tests should be taken on strictly certain days of the menstrual cycle. One of the important hormones that affects many other body systems is the hormone prolactin. When to take it, how to prepare for delivery, what can be done and what is not, just below in the article. You can also find out about the causes of high and low prolactin. And now - a little about what a prolactin hormone is, what it is.
Prolactin - "milk" hormone
Milk in Latin sounds like "lactos", this gave the name of the hormone. For a long time, doctors know its most important feature - the regulation of milk synthesis.The mammary glands under the influence of the hormone begin to grow, they form colostrum and then mature milk. Many receptors are located on the nipple, which is why, when prolactin is given, in no case is it affected so as not to get overestimated values. When breastfeeding, the highest level of the hormone is observed, and it begins to have a slight analgesic effect. Perhaps this is due to the fact that when an unexpected nipple bites a child, the mother would not be too painful. Prolactin provides the child’s immune independence from the mother and is involved in the maturation of the baby’s lungs in late pregnancy. The hormone receptors are not only on the chest, but also in all human organs. The effect of the hormone on other organs is still being studied.
Effect of drugs, stress, alcohol and nicotine on prolactin
The hormone prolactin is very sensitive to the psycho-emotional state of a person. Its values increase with stress, various anxiety states, and depression. Therefore, when they give prolactin, it is important to be at rest. Before taking the test, it is necessary to refrain from excessive use of alcohol and nicotine, since this also greatly increases the concentration of the hormone.Some medicines, especially antipsychotics, tranquilizers, antidepressants, can greatly distort the results of the analysis. Therefore, how to donate blood for prolactin, what can and should not be taken should definitely be clarified with the doctor who gives the direction. Downward results may change when taking drugs such as bromkriptin, cabergoline, tamoxifen, and clostilbegit. When drugs are intoxicated by opiates, amphetamine, cocaine, an increase in secretion of prolactin occurs.
The effect of prolactin on immunity
According to the observations of doctors, prolactin is involved in immune responses. With the activation of the immune system during inflammatory diseases, in the treatment of infection, its level may increase and decrease when taking drugs that suppress the immune system. These include various glucocorticoids, immunosuppressants, anticancer and chemotherapy drugs. Therefore, patients are required to clarify with their doctor about prolactin, how to pass, taking into account all diseases in history. Do not be afraid of elevated levels of the hormone, if you take antiemetic, antihistamine or drugs,containing estrogen. However, at the end of the course of medication it is necessary to check the level of the hormone again. A high prolactin count may indicate a serious health problem.
Causes of increased prolactin
If during the analysis you have found high rates of prolactin, then perhaps this is due to pregnancy or lactation, with nervousness, or with non-compliance with the rules of blood donation. If all this does not fit, then the following diseases should be excluded:
- prolactinosis is a condition where a tumor is formed on the pituitary gland, producing an excessive amount of prolactin. Its presence is indirectly indicated by such symptoms as lack of menstruation in women, infertility and overweight;
- hypothyroidism - a decrease in the level of hormones that the thyroid gland produces. To confirm this diagnosis, it is necessary to pass a test for thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH);
- polycystic ovary syndrome is a condition of the female reproductive system characterized by menstrual disorders, infertility, excessive body hair growth.
Elevated prolactin can also be associated with various diseases of the liver and kidneys.That is why sometimes prolactin analysis is very important. How to take and when, should advise your doctor, but most often for women is the beginning of the cycle. Although, you may be recommended to pass it in the second half for 20-21 days.
What day to take prolactin?
The hormone level fluctuates not only during the cycle, but throughout the day, so for a more accurate setting of indicators it is important to get up no less than 3 hours before the analysis. The most suitable days for women in the cycle are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. The first day of the cycle is considered the day of the onset of moderate or heavy discharge during menstruation. In the case of spotting, you should wait for the appearance of abundant and then take the analysis for prolactin. How to pass, what state you need to be in, how to calculate your cycle - the doctor (most often an endocrinologist or a gynecologist) should warn about all this before passing the analysis. As a rule, it is recommended to refrain from taking coffee, physical exertion, sexual intercourse and nervous tension for 2 days before the analysis. Some doctors believe that this is even more important than the day of the cycle, because on any given day the hormone must be in a certain range specified in the norms of each laboratory.
Causes of reduced prolactin
Low levels of the hormone can be observed in children and men. Usually, when a low prolactin level is detected, treatment is not prescribed, but the following diseases should be excluded:
- benign and malignant formations of the pituitary gland;
- pituitary tuberculosis;
- any injuries affecting the pituitary gland.
In addition, do not forget about the drugs taken. For example, Levodopa and Dopamine can lead to misinterpretation of the results, which will show the analysis of prolactin. How to take it, taking into account the medication should prompt the doctor. If there is a desire, then you can ask about the preliminary diagnosis before passing the analysis. During the consultation, it would be nice to find out what the prolactin hormone is, what it is, and how the analysis will help establish the diagnosis. Usually, having a clinical picture in front of you, the doctor will give important information about the patient’s health status.
When prolactin is given: symptoms and conditions
Most often, people with certain problems turn to the doctor, analyzing which the doctor sends to pass the analysis for prolactin. Symptoms that indirectly indicate problems with hormones are:
- violation of the menstrual cycle: prolonged absence of menstruation, their irregularity, excessive scarcity or profusion of discharge;
- voluntary discharge from the breast and with pressure in non-nourishing and non-pregnant women and all men;
- if there are problems with conception or there is a diagnosis of infertility;
- reduced sexual desire;
- a significant excess of body mass index, obesity;
- skin problems: acne.
In case of an individual approach to treatment, the doctor should inform you on what day prolactin should be given to you and give appropriate recommendations. Self-medication and delivery of the hormone as a self-test is unlikely to bring good results. Usually, even experienced doctors prescribe to take this hormone several times (most often 3 times in a row) to be sure of the diagnosis.
Where to take prolactin?
Prolactin is a very important hormone that affects the functioning of many body systems, so almost all laboratories can test for this hormone. Usually, a laboratory technician or laboratory manager immediately warns you about how to prepare for his delivery. Blood is taken on an empty stomach from a vein.In private laboratories can take blood for this hormone without an appointment. In government laboratories at hospitals and clinics are very often in the list of possible samples, prolactin analysis is absent. The doctor who issued the referral for prolactin, where he most often pronounces himself or writes on a separate piece of paper. If he did not do this, you can specify the information from him yourself. In most cases, he will recommend one of the city’s reliable laboratories.
Patients, when they pass on prolactin, are often interested in the norms that must be met. The attending physician may not always give an exhaustive answer to this question. This is due to the fact that each laboratory uses its own equipment, on which the units of measurement do not coincide with the others. Therefore, on the form with the results of the analysis, most often, the norms for a specific laboratory are indicated. The most common are the following indicators of the norm: 109-557 mU / ml for women and 53-400 mU / ml for men.
Additional studies with elevated prolactin levels
If you have found high prolactin, then appoint additional studies of the body to clarify the diagnosis. Usually this:
Based on additional studies, a conclusion is made about the diagnosis and individual treatment is selected.