Prolactinoma - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms of your prolactinoma?

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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: 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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Comment from: betsy, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

The first sign on my prolactinoma was on my 16th birthday. While in the bath, I noticed my breast had leaked a pale white fluid. I cried to my mum, who was horrified thinking I was pregnant. Obviously, still a virgin, I was so confused as to what it was. My general physician said it was nothing to worry about, so I didn't; for 3 more years. It was only when I went into the doctor's for the 3rd time, saying I wasn't having periods, was I sent to have an MRI scan. I am now 19 and have been on cabergoline for over a year. It makes me extremely ill, depressed and anxious. I am very confused about what's next for me, it seems that with my age, doctors hold off from telling me what really going on. I really hope I can have children one day.

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