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Prolactin Blood Testing

1 Biomarkers
You earn: 53 pts
  • No need to visit a doctor
  • Prescription never expires
  • All inclusive, no extra fees
  • 1-minute checkout
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since 2005

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Prolactin (Quest Diagnostics) Next Day Results*
You earn: 53 pts
HSA/FSA accepted
Prolactin (LabCorp) Next Day Results*
You earn: 83 pts
HSA/FSA accepted

What is a Prolactin Test?

A Prolactin test is used to measure the level of the prolactin hormone, which is produced by the pituitary gland, in a patient’s blood. High levels of prolactin are commonly found in pregnant women, as it contributes to the production of breast milk, and can increase 10 to 20 times during the course of a pregnancy. After the birth of a child, prolactin continues to stay at these high levels throughout the act of breastfeeding, and begins to lower after a few months, regardless of whether or not breastfeeding is maintained. Though prolactin is also present in men and non-pregnant women, it is still unclear what the hormone does apart from playing a role in breastfeeding after childbirth.

Who May Need a Prolactin Test?

Prolactin tests are most often utilized by female patients who are having infertility issues, absence of a menstrual cycle (amenorrhea), or having abnormal nipple discharges. Men may also utilize a Prolactin test if it is suspected there is an issue with their pituitary gland, as well as to assess the cause of erectile dysfunction or lack of interest in sex. Also, if a male patient’s testosterone levels are low, a Prolactin test may be used to establish if an overabundance of the hormone may be part of the cause. This test may also be used as a means of determining if a patient has a tumor in the pituitary gland.

What Should I Expect from My Prolactin Test?

A Prolactin test begins with drawing a blood sample from a patient in order for it to be examined by a medical laboratory. Some health professionals will advise their patients to avoid eating or drinking hours before the test is performed. Levels of prolactin are at their highest during the morning hours and are often given within three hours after a patient has woken up. Stress and strenuous exercise can raise prolactin levels in a patient, as well as nipple stimulation; however, your physician should advise you on the specifics regarding your test. Just as with any hormone test, your Prolactin test results should be discussed with your physician, who may have ranges tailored to your particular age and health status.


  1. What is prolactin?

    Prolactin is a hormone produced in the pituitary gland, and released into your blood. This hormone plays a major role in regulating the female menstrual cycle and supporting pregnancy. It also stimulates the breast tissue to produce milk and allow breastfeeding.

  2. How long should you fast for a prolactin test?

    The recommended time to fast before a prolactin test is 10 to 12 hours.

  3. What does a prolactin test show?

    A prolactin test measures the amount of prolactin in the blood. An abnormal prolactin level may occur if:

    • There’s a problem with the pituitary gland
    • You are taking certain medications
    • You have uncontrolled thyroid conditions
    • There’s a tumor on the pituitary gland

    In females, this hormone is usually high during pregnancy and low once breastfeeding begins. The results are important for women who are trying to conceive, have trouble staying pregnant, or are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

  4. What does it mean to have a high prolactin?

    Hyperprolactinemia (high prolactin levels) is often a sign of one of the following:

    • Hypothyroidism
    • Excess stress
    • Pituitary tumor
    • Other damage to the hypothalamus/pituitary gland

    It can result in a decrease in the production of progesterone, reducing the ability to become pregnant.

  5. Who may need a prolactin test?

    A Prolactin test is used to evaluate the hypothalamus and pituitary function. Commonly ordered when a female patient is experiencing:

    • Abnormal nipple discharge
    • Amenorrhea (absent menstruation)
    • Infertility issues

    This test can also be utilized when diagnosing the cause of erectile dysfunction or low sex drive in men.

  6. Do I need to visit a doctor?

    Nope. You don't need a doctor's visit to get a test with us.

  7. How do I get my results?

    You'll get your results via email as soon as they are available. We will notify you via SMS as well. You can also see them at any time in the future right in your dashboard where you can easily share them with your professional and compare them side by side with future tests.

  8. Does my lab prescription expire?

    We're the only lab that honors your lab order forever.

Questions about online blood testing or how to order a lab test?

Speak with our Wellness Team: (877) 283-7882
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