Prolactinoma - Symptoms

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What symptoms are caused by a prolactinoma?

In women, high blood levels of prolactin usually interfere with ovulation, causing infertility and changing menstruation. In some women, periods may disappear altogether whereas in others, periods become irregular, or menstrual flow may change noticeably. Women who are not pregnant or nursing may begin producing breast milk. Some women may experience a loss of libido (interest in sex). Intercourse may become painful because of vaginal dryness.

In men, the most common symptom of prolactinoma is impotence. Men have no reliable indicator such as menstruation to signal a problem. Thus, many men delay going to the doctor until they have headaches or vision problems, caused by the enlarged pituitary pressing against the nearby nerves from the eyes. Men may not recognize a gradual loss of sexual function or libido. In fact, only after treatment do some men realize they had a problem with sexual function. As a result of later presentation, men on average, have larger prolactinomas at their presentation then women.

Return to Prolactinoma (Pituitary Tumor)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Keatta, 35-44 (Patient) Published: December 27

I was diagnosed with prolactinoma (adenoma) when I was about 25 years old; that was about 14 years ago. I had an endocrinologist who prescribed bromocriptine for my galactorrhea (breast secretions) for about 8 years. I asked to attempt to be off of it. He dropped me as a patient. I was off that drug until last year at age 38 when my symptoms returned. I've since had vertigo, headaches, and been to a new endocrinologist, who doesn't seem to think there's cause for concern at all. He's sending me for an MRI, considered non-emergency of course. I practically had to beg for it. I take a probiotic daily and I'm wondering if this is a contributing factor to this resurfacing galactorrhea. My TSH and TRH (hormone/thyroid) levels are normal apparently.

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Comment from: curtdave, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 14

I suspect that I had prolactinoma for twenty years before it was diagnosed. It affected me mostly as sinus problems, headache, mucus discharge and drainage that caused heartburn. I did also have low sex drive and was receiving testosterone injections. I went to 3 different ear, nose and throat physicians and had 3 different sinus surgeries. I went to a fourth ENT because none of the surgeries or treatments relieved the sinus issues I was having. The fourth ENT performed a CAT scan and found something unusual and sent me for a MRI. The MRI showed a very large tumor on my pituitary gland, it was so large that it had invaded my sinus cavity. Blood tests showed low T, and very high prolactin levels. Cabergoline was prescribed and in less than a month I lost 50 pounds, my sex drive was back, sinus issues went away and testosterone levels went to where they belong. My endocrinologist seems to think that the weight loss had nothing to do with the tumor but I think it does, I have not changed my eating habits or how much I exercise. It"s been over two years now and I feel great, better than I felt through all of my forties and my early fifties.

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