Hyperprolactinemia is the elevation of prolactin in the blood. Prolactin acts mainly in the breasts, initiating and maintaining lactation. Its elevation constitutes a frequent cause of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) and infertility since it suppresses important hormones involved in fertility.
There are many causes of elevated blood prolactin: disrupted sleep, sexual intercourse, stress, pregnancy, and breastfeeding, as well as some medications (antidepressants, oral contraceptives, metoclopramide). If prolactin values are greater than 100 ng/ml, they may suggest a tumor in the pituitary gland, so an MRI should be considered.
Fortunately, most of these tumors respond to medical treatment with pills, and normalization of prolactin levels improves fertility.
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