In this Article
- What is Prolactin?
- What are Normal Prolactin Levels To Get Pregnant?
- Can You Get Pregnant with Low Prolactin Levels?
- Can You Get Pregnant with High Prolactin Levels?
- Symptoms of High Prolactin Levels
- Causes of High Prolactin Levels
- How is High Prolactin Diagnosed?
- Medical Treatment for High Prolactin Level
- How to Lower Prolactin Levels to Get Pregnant Naturally
Each and every hormone in our bodies has a specific purpose. Usually when these go out of whack is when we start to find ourselves with problems. A woman experiences hormonal changes a lot, but when it comes to pregnancy, there is an even bigger change. A little hormone called prolactin is one of the hormones that play a very important role in fertility and conception. If your prolactin level is abnormal, you will find yourself having trouble conceiving.
What is Prolactin?
Originating in the pituitary gland, prolactin is a hormone that helps in the production of breast milk during and after pregnancy. While both men and women have prolactin in their blood, why men have it is not yet clear. Prolactin in women plays an important role in fertility, menstruation and sex drive.
What are Normal Prolactin Levels To Get Pregnant?
For women who are not pregnant, the average prolactin level is 2 to 29ng/ml (nanograms per millilitre). Women whose prolactin levels fall in this range have a better chance at conceiving.
Can You Get Pregnant with Low Prolactin Levels?
If your pituitary glands are not working properly, then your prolactin levels will be low. This is known as hypopituitarism. However, this is not considered to be a problem as conceiving a child is possible even with low prolactin levels.
Can You Get Pregnant with High Prolactin Levels?
High prolactin levels (known as hyperprolactinemia) make it very difficult to conceive. They are also a cause of infertility in some people. Hyperprolactinemia as a result of a successfully established pregnancy is normal. As a woman’s body starts to produce more breast-milk to feed her child, her prolactin levels may spike. However, having high levels of prolactin at any other time is not good.
Symptoms of High Prolactin Levels
You will be advised to have your prolactin levels checked if you have the following:
- Producing breast milk when you are not pregnant or a new mother
- Low sex drive
- Lack of menstrual period or irregular menstrual cycle
- Anovulation (i.e. absence of ovulation)
- Weight gain
- Vision problems
Causes of High Prolactin Levels
There are many things that can cause high levels of prolactin. Some of these are:
- Medication that falls into the category of anti-convulsants, anti-hypertensive drugs and opiates.
- Lack of sleep
- Extreme stress
- Strenuous exercise
- Tumour in the pituitary gland
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
How is High Prolactin Diagnosed?
There is a blood test that is done to determine whether or not the above symptoms are a result of high levels of prolactin, or in fact a result of prolactinoma (i.e. presence of a tumour).
The first thing your doctor is going to need to know if you are experiencing any kind of infertility or irregularity in your menstrual cycle is if you are taking any medications. Your thyroid function will be tested as well as anything that that may cause a rise in the levels of prolactin. MRI and CT scanning can also be used to diagnose the problem.
Medical Treatment for High Prolactin Level
Medications such as bromocriptine, also known as Parlodel or Cycloset, are commonly prescribed in order to treat high prolactin levels as they help the brain to produce dopamine. They can also shrink prolactinoma tumours if present. Cabergoline is a newer drug for prolactinoma that is supposed to have fewer side effects. If you find yourself sensitive to the other drugs, this one may work best.
In other instances, radiotherapy may be suggested as a way of helping your prolactin levels or prolactinoma.
How to Lower Prolactin Levels to Get Pregnant Naturally
While there are some medical ways to reduce the level of prolactin in the body, there are pros and cons to the method. Some women find that medication works for them, while others don’t. Further, once a woman stops the medication, her prolactin levels may go back to being high. This is why natural ways of treating prolactin levels are preferred. Here are a few steps to help:
1. Fertility Cleansing
Whether you just made the decision to have a baby or if you have been trying for years, fertility cleansing is the way to go. This will remove all the toxins in your body that cause problems infertility. Fixing the symptoms will not solve the problem completely, but by detoxifying the body, you are taking a step in removing the root cause of the problems.
2. Vitamins and Supplements
Taking some vitamins and supplements that reduce the level of prolactin-like vitamin B6, vitamin E and SAM-e (s-adenosyl methionine), etc. – will be beneficial to you. Vitamin B6 is associated with metabolism and production of neurotransmitters like dopamine, vitamin E prevents the prolactin levels from rising, and SAM-e strengthens the joints, detoxifies the liver and boosts mood and brain functioning.
3. Herbal Teas
Drinking teas with ingredients such as white peony, peppermint, chaste berry, sage and others are very helpful as these are ingredients that have been used to treat disorders in women related issues for hundreds of years as they all help in regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Learn some massaging techniques that you can perform yourself or that your partner can do for you that will help increase the health of your reproductive system as it will help in reducing the stress hormones, helps the uterus to remove the old stagnant blood and scar tissue, improves hormonal balance and in improving blood circulation, keeping the uterus healthy.
As always, your lifestyle plays a huge role in helping your body function well. Habits like smoking, consuming alcohol and not getting enough exercise lead to problems while trying to conceive due to the changes and imbalances they cause to your hormones. Including a healthy diet is vital as it will improve the health of all your organs, especially the liver. A healthy diet will also help keep all the hormones in check, including prolactin.
Many couples today have problems conceiving due to the levels of prolactin being too high. The biggest contributor to high prolactin is a modern lifestyle. Overwork, lack of exercise and very unhealthy eating habits have become the norm as people are too busy doing too much. Even a slight drop in the levels will improve the chances many couples have of conceiving a child.
If you notice that you have any of the symptoms, it is worth a visit to the doctor so that you can find out if your prolactin levels may present a problem and begin to resolve it immediately. Opting for the natural treatment will be a better option as it is a more permanent solution rather than just a temporary fix.
Also Read: Pregnant during Breastfeeding