About Prolactin Hormone:
Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland in the brain. It plays a vital role in milk production during breastfeeding and the development of mammary glands in women. This hormone also appears in menstrual cycle changes in women, where it participates in hormonal regulation alongside estrogen and progesterone.

During pregnancy, there is a significant increase in prolactin levels, preparing the body for lactation. After childbirth, prolactin plays a crucial role in maintaining appropriate milk secretion levels. As breastfeeding gradually ceases, prolactin levels decrease.

Importance of Prolactin Testing:
Prolactin testing through blood analysis is crucial in determining the causes of menstrual cycle disorders, infertility, and early diagnosis of mammary gland diseases. This analysis is also used to detect the presence of a rare tumor in the pituitary gland, known as prolactinoma, which can occur in both men and women.

These tests are usually conducted using the chemiluminescence immunoassay technique and are preferably performed in the morning for accurate results. It is also advised to avoid eating before the test and abstain from physical exertion and sexual intercourse prior to the examination.

Interpretation of Prolactin Test Results: Normal Values and Age-Related Analysis:

Age GroupMale (ng/mL)Female (Non-Pregnant) (ng/mL)
Less than 1 month3.7–81.20.3–95.0
1 month – 1 year0.3–28.90.2–29.9
1–4 years2.3–13.21.0–17.1
4–7 years0.8–16.91.6–13.1
7–10 years1.9–11.60.3–12.9
10–13 years0.9–12.91.9–9.6
13–16 years1.6–16.63.0–14.4
16–18 years2.7–15.22.1–18.4

During Pregnancy:

  • First week: 3.2–43.0 ng/mL
  • Weeks 2–13: 13.0–166.0 ng/mL
  • Weeks 14–23: 13.0–318.0 ng/mL

Note: The values are provided in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

Elevated prolactin concentrations may result from various reasons such as disorders in pituitary gland function, controlled gland disorders, diseases of the adrenal glands and pancreas, kidney and liver diseases, diabetes, pregnancy and lactation periods, and the presence of a pituitary gland tumor (prolactinoma).

A decrease in prolactin levels is rare and considered pathological, indicating disorders such as deficiency in pituitary hormone secretion or Sheehan’s syndrome after miscarriage or childbirth.

Additional Tests in Case of Deviation from Normal Values:
Additional tests are recommended when deviation from normal values is detected, including basic hormone tests (FSH, LH, testosterone, ACTH), and imaging tests for disorders (ultrasound of the uterus and its appendages, mammography, breast ultrasound, X-rays, etc.).