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Prolactin level - Definition


Prolactin is a hormone secreted by what are called the lactotropic cells, located in the pituitary gland. This hormone is a protein that acts on the mammary glands of the breast to stimulate the production and secretion of breast milk in women, as well as causing periods to stop following childbirth. It is present in fluctuating quantities depending on several factors, and increases naturally during pregnancy and the stage following childbirth to maintain the lactation process and enable breastfeeding. It can also increase in cases of pituitary adenomas, tumors growing in the pituitary gland, or when certain medication is taken. Hyperprolactinaemia is suspected when two symptoms are observed together: absence or disrupted periods, and secretion from the nipples.