Updated: Nov 22, 2019
  • Author: Anas K Gremida, MD; Chief Editor: Thomas M Wheeler, MD, FCAP  more...
  • Print

Reference Range

The reference ranges for prolactin in females is as follows: [1]

  • Adult female: 3-27 ng/mL

  • Pregnant female: 20-400 ng/mL

The reference range for prolactin in adult males is 3-13 ng/mL. [1]



Hyperprolactinemia is associated primarily with prolactin-secreting pituitary tumors (prolactinoma).

Conditions associated with prolactin deficiency include anterior pituitary dysfunction secondary to the following:


Collection and Panels

Specifics for collection and panels are as follows:

  • Specimen type: Blood serum

  • Container: Vacutainer, red/black top

  • Collection method: Venipuncture

  • Specimen volume: 0.6 mL

  • Other instructions: Collect specimen within 3-4 hours of awakening

Related tests are as follows:

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)

  • Testosterone

  • Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

  • Estrogen

  • Progesterone

  • Growth hormone




Prolactin is pituitary hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production in women. Prolactin has no known normal function in men. [2, 3, 4, 5]

An image depicting prolactin can be seen below.

Prolactin structure. Prolactin structure.


Indications for testing of serum prolactin include the following:

  • Evaluation of galactorrhea

  • Evaluation of headache and visual field deficits

  • Evaluation of pituitary tumors

  • Evaluation of male and female infertility

  • Evaluation of amenorrhea/oligomenorrhea

  • Evaluation of erectile dysfunction

  • Evaluation of hypogonadism

  • Monitoring therapy of prolactinoma and detecting recurrences


Hyperprolactinemia may also be associated with the following:

Hyperprolactinemia may also be associated with the following drugs:

  • Estrogen

  • Tricyclic antidepressants

  • Opiates

  • Amphetamines

  • Reserpine

  • Verapamil

  • Methyldopa

  • Butyrophenones

  • H2 blockers

  • Metoclopramide

  • Phenothiazines

  • Risperidone