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What is a prolactin (PRL) test?

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A prolactin (PRL) test measures how much of a hormone called prolactin you have in your blood. The hormone is made in your pituitary gland, which is just below your brain.

When women are pregnant or have just given birth, their prolactin levels increase so they can make breast milk. But it’s possible to have high prolactin levels if you’re not pregnant, and even if you’re a man.

From: What is a Prolactin Test? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Prolactin.”

American Association for Clinical Chemistry: “Prolactin.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: High prolactin levels and prolactinomas (Beyond the Basics).”

UCLA Health: “Prolactinoma.”

Mayo Clinic: “Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid).”

U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Hypothalmic dysfunction.”

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: “Fact Sheet: What is Prolactin?”

Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.”

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: “Prolactin Blood Test.”

American Association for Clinical Chemistry. “Hypopituitarism.”

University of California, San Francisco: “Levodopa.”

Mayo Clinic: “Headache Medicine Ergot-Derivative-Containing (Oral Route, Parenteral Route, Rectal Route).”

National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine: “The clinical use of dopamine in the treatment of shock.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 22, 2017

SOURCES:

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Prolactin.”

American Association for Clinical Chemistry: “Prolactin.”

UpToDate: “Patient education: High prolactin levels and prolactinomas (Beyond the Basics).”

UCLA Health: “Prolactinoma.”

Mayo Clinic: “Hypothyroidism (Underactive Thyroid).”

U.S. National Library of Medicine: “Hypothalmic dysfunction.”

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: “Fact Sheet: What is Prolactin?”

Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.”

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics: “Prolactin Blood Test.”

American Association for Clinical Chemistry. “Hypopituitarism.”

University of California, San Francisco: “Levodopa.”

Mayo Clinic: “Headache Medicine Ergot-Derivative-Containing (Oral Route, Parenteral Route, Rectal Route).”

National Institutes of Health, U.S. National Library of Medicine: “The clinical use of dopamine in the treatment of shock.”

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 22, 2017

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When do women need a prolactin (PRL) test?

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