The norm of prolactin in women in different periods of life. Consequences of deviations
The functions of prolactin in the body are manifold, although it is produced in small amounts. The need for it is not the same in different periods of life. He plays an especially important role in pregnancy, as well as after childbirth. Significant deviations from the norm, as a rule, occur in the presence of serious causes. Consequences can be dangerous, so you need to find out what caused the violation. Determine what the level of the hormone in the body can be by using a blood test.
- Prolactin functions in the body
- Norms of prolactin
- The more dangerous are the deviations, their causes
- Prolactin analysis
Prolactin functions in the body
This substance is produced mainly in the pituitary gland. In the female body, it is responsible for the development of the mammary glands, as well as for producing the milk necessary for feeding the baby in the first months after it was born. Due to the high content of the hormone during lactation, the probability of egg ripening and the onset of ovulation is extremely low. Therefore, women, as a rule, do not become pregnant while they are breastfeeding.
In a non-pregnant woman of childbearing age, the hormone plays an important role in the course of the cycle, and in its second phase stimulates the formation and functioning of the yellow body . This contributes to the development of a "pregnancy hormone" of progesterone. An increase in the content of this substance makes it impossible for a new pregnancy to occur. Closer to childbirth, the content of progesterone is reduced, and the level of prolactin is increasing, which leads to the development of colostrum , and later of high-grade breast milk.
Prolactin is responsible for the appearance of a woman's maternal instinct, as well as for her sexuality. This substance affects the functioning of the adrenal glands and the production of testosterone in them , from which oestrogens are synthesized in the ovaries.
Norms of prolactin
The content of prolactin in the blood can vary significantly depending on the age. In the childbearing period, its production varies in different phases of the menstrual cycle. The indicator of normal content is individual for each patient. But it is established that at certain periods of life the hormone level indicator should not exceed the limits of a certain interval. Otherwise, ailments, disorders in the work of the reproductive organs, mammary glands, immune and nervous systems of the body can appear.
Norm, mme / l
After 1 month and up to 10 years
Up to 630
11-18 years old
The high content of this substance in the body of newborns sometimes leads to the swelling of their mammary glands and the release of milk from the nipples. Already by 1 month the hormonal background is almost normal, and the level of prolactin decreases.
In adolescent girls, the substance content affects the size of the mammary glands, the state of the psyche, and the rate of puberty.
In adult women
Period of life
Norm, mme / l
A childbearer. The normal content of prolactin in the phases of the cycle
The follicular phase
Variations in prolactin in a woman of reproductive age are associated with cyclic changes in pituitary and ovarian activity. The natural ratio of hormones in the body during this period is such that the woman is the most sexually active, physically hardy, her mother's instinct is most strongly developed.
With the climax in connection with the aging of the body, the production of prolactin decreases, the mammary gland involution occurs , the replacement of their glandular elements with connective and fatty tissues.
Pregnant and lactating
Categories of women of childbearing age
Norm, mme / l
Up to 600
More than 27 weeks
Have given birth
6 months after childbirth
In 7-12 months
After 1 year
When pregnancy, the level of prolactin grows and gradually reaches a maximum. It is necessary for the proper formation of the respiratory, immune system in a future child. There is a preparation of the mother's body for lactation.
In addition, prolactin affects the painful centers of the brain, which contributes to the easing of pain during labor, as well as to reduce the sensitivity of the nipples when breastfeeding.
The more dangerous are the deviations, their causes
Deviations from the norm are not always associated with pathology. For example, the increase in hormone levels occurs if a woman is overtired or fidgety.
About pathology say, if after a significant sharp rise in the level of prolactin does not subside, it manifests itself in various ailments. Symptom can be an abnormal appearance of milk in the breast of a woman who does not breast-feed. The manifestation of a hormonal malfunction is depression, impaired cycle, impaired vision, decreased sexual desire, infertility, endocrine diseases, the formation of breast tumors.
Video: Why is prolactin increased? Possible consequences
This is a condition in which the prolactin levels in the blood are much higher than normal. It is determined by the results of a blood test. Physiological reasons for increasing the content of this substance in the blood can be physical fatigue, stress, the predominance of proteins in food.
The reasons for the fact that prolactin in women exceeds the norm, can be:
- The formation of a tumor in the pituitary gland (prolactinoma, adenoma). On the occurrence of such a pathology can speak galactorrhea (discharge of milk from the nipples of a nonpregnant and non-pregnant woman), amenorrhea, infertility (in the absence of other causes). Perhaps sharp deterioration of vision, the appearance of permanent headaches due to increased intracranial pressure, weight gain. There is an osteoporosis.
- Decreased production of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism). The woman's blood pressure rises, cycle disorders occur, depression, fatigue, drowsiness, dry skin.
- Anorexia (a pathological condition in which a person has an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat). In this state, exhaustion of the body often leads to death.
- Polycystic ovary. This disease occurs due to hormonal failure, disruption of the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal glands. Symptoms of the disease are infertility, a violation of the cycle, the hair of the face and body by the male type, the lack of sexual desire.
Excess of prolactin can occur in kidney and liver diseases. Disturbances can occur after long-term use of hormonal drugs, psychotropic drugs. The cause of hyperprolactinaemia can be a trauma to the mammary glands, the formation of hormone-producing tumors.
The treatment depends on what caused hyperprolactinaemia. Often, hormone therapy is used, and if tumors and polycystic disease are detected, surgical operations must be used to remove them.
Reduced levels of prolactin
An abnormal decrease in the level of prolactin can occur due to exposure to harmful substances (nicotine, caffeine, for example) or individual medications (diuretics, vitamin B6).
Warning: Smoking and drinking strong coffee for a nursing mother is also harmful because a decrease in the level of prolactin leads to a weakening of milk production and a deterioration in its quality.
Reduction in the level of prolactin can occur after severe delivery. Large blood loss leads to a drop in blood pressure, which causes a pituitary infarction. The fall in the level of prolactin in a woman below the norm leads in this case to the lack of breast milk and the need for artificial feeding of the baby.
When there is a lack of a hormone in the body, a cycle break occurs, a period without ovulation (infertility), irritability, acne on the skin. In pregnancy, the lack of prolactin can result in miscarriage.
Replenish the deficit will help complete nutrition, physical strengthening of the body, the rejection of bad habits. It is necessary to avoid fatigue and stress, refuse to eat coffee and chocolate.
Video: How to properly prepare for the analysis of prolactin
It is appointed in the following cases:
- if in the presence of regular sex and the absence of diseases of the sexual organs does not occur pregnancy;
- there are dairy discharges that are not related to feeding;
- there are menstrual problems;
- decreased sexual desire;
- there is a delay in sexual development in adolescent girls;
- there are suspicions of the presence of tumors of the pituitary gland.
A blood test is done in the morning on an empty stomach. The day before you should give up physical activity, smoking, sexual contacts, you must avoid emotional stress. This allows to obtain more reliable results, to exclude the appearance of random physiological abnormalities.