I went to the Dr. about my long cycles (the past few have been close to 50 days), and I found out my 7dpo progesterone was 9.93 ng/mL . The doctor didn't know if this was low or not (seriously...wtf),but I've heard on here it is.
Also, my prolactin was 39.96!! Holy crap! Normal is 4-23. Has anyone else had high prolactin and what have they done about it?
My doc was pretty useless, he said all he could do was refer me on to the OBGYN but I have to wait until November.
In the meantime, can anyone shed any light on these two hormones?
I'm assuming you're in the US with the ng/ml levels.. if so.. then progesterone indicates ovulation (anything above a 3 is ovulatory, but a 10+ is normal for a natural cycle... you were close enough to 10 that I'd say your progesterone levels were quite normal).
As for the prolactin, I know it can suppress ovulation but that doesn't seem to be the issue for you. however, from what I'm reading I think you should have your thyroid and pituitary checked out to make sure you don't have any issues there. It might just be related to PCOS (which makes sense for your long cycles) or if you're on some medications it can cause it to rise.
I stole this data from yahoo answers:
What is Prolactin?
Prolactin is a chemical that is secreted by your pituitary gland. This is the pea-sized gland found in the middle of your brain, which is responsible for triggering many of your body's processes. Prolactin is found in both men and women and is released at various times throughout the day and night. Prolactin is generally released in order to stimulate milk production in pregnant women. It also enlarges a woman's mammary glands in order to allow her to prepare for breastfeeding
Hormones that Affect Prolactin
Like many of your body's other processes, the release of prolactin is actually triggered by other hormones. Hormones affecting prolactin include:
Serotonin and thyroid hormone help to increase prolactin release, whereas dopamine works to block prolactin release.
Prolactin and Infertility
Prolactin doesn't just cause your body to increase milk production - it also affects your ovulation and menstrual cycles. This is why it is nearly impossible to become pregnant when you are breastfeeding. (In fact, prolactin is 90% effective against pregnancy in the first months after birth).
Prolactin inhibits two hormones necessary to your ovulation: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH). Both of these hormones are responsible for helping your eggs to develop and mature in the ovaries, so that they can be released during ovulation. When you have excess prolactin in your bloodstream, ovulation is not triggered, and you will be unable to become pregnant. Prolactin may also affect your menstrual cycle and the regularity of your periods.
ypes of Irregularities
There are two main types of prolactin irregularities. It is possible to suffer from both at one time.
Galactorrhea is a condition in which you begin to produce milk spontaneouly, without being pregnant or having given birth recently. It is a result of high prolactic levels. Other symptoms include:
painful or tender breasts
loss of sex drive
Hyperprolactinemia literally means too much prolactin in the blood. If you have hyperprolactinemia, you may also have galactorrhea, though this is not always the case. Symptoms of high prolactin levels include:
prolactin levels at or above 600 mIU/I
reduced sex drive
Causes of High Prolactin Levels
There are a few things that may be responsible for your prolactin irregularities. In order to treat your infertility, you will need to determine what is at the bottom of your elevated prolactin levels.
Prolactinoma is one of the more common causes of prolactin-induced infertility. Prolactinoma causes a tumor to grow on your pituitary gland. This tumor secretes excess prolactin into your body. About 10% of the population have these tumors. They usually do not pose any health risks, besides infertility, though sometimes they can interfere with vision.
Prescription drugs can cause excess secretion of prolactin. Some anti-depressants, painkillers, and opiates block dopamine, preventing prolactin secretion from being inhibited. This can cause your prolactin levels to rise.
Other more rare causes of prolactin irregularities include:
A prolactin test measures the level of the hormone prolactin, which is made by the pituitary gland, in your blood. Prolactin levels are different throughout the day. The highest levels occur during sleep and shortly after you wake up.
Normal values may vary from lab to lab.
Prolactin Nonpregnant women
Less than 25 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or 25 mcg/L (SI units)
Less than 20 ng/mL or 20 mcg/L (SI units)
20 to 400 ng/mL or 20 to 400 mcg/L (SI units)
High levels of prolactin (usually higher than 200 ng/mL) may mean a pituitary gland tumor (prolactinoma) is present. The higher the prolactin level, the more likely a pituitary gland tumor is present. If a prolactin level is over 200 ng/mL, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test may be done to confirm a pituitary tumor is present. A normal or low prolactin level does not always mean there is no pituitary tumor. An MRI test may be done if a pituitary tumor is suspected.
High levels of prolactin may mean that the pituitary gland is making excess prolactin for unknown reasons (idiopathic hyperprolactinemia).
Other conditions that can cause high prolactin levels include pregnancy, liver disease (cirrhosis), kidney disease, and hypothyroidism.
I should add that you dont' seem to be into the 'danger' zones listed (200+ etc)
Also, it may be good to repeat the test before jumping to too may conclusions since it might have been a fluke.
I have also read that vit B6 can help lower it (should take it in a B-complex though, not just B6). But you should make sure there are no other underlying health conditions before trying that. Since you don't want to be dealing with those health issues WHILE pregnant.
I had elevated levels before-not quite as high, one year ago-and DID have the MRI, which came back normal. Also, as you stated, they aren't up in the 200 range.
I googled it and wonder if it might have been stress. I was incredibly stressed when the blood was taken. From what you posted, it appears it would have inhibited ovulated but I did just ovulate, as evidence from my chart, my progesterone, and the fact that I'm getting AF right now 13 days after a pos OPK. So, it's a mystery!
I like your suggestion as getting another done to see what it is before getting worked up about it. I have a feeling they are going to suggest another MRI.
I don't think it's PCOS as I had an ultrasound and don't have any cysts on my ovaries.
funny enough, you don't have to have cysts to have PCOS I know its funny but its true... there is a hormone level check they can do on CD3 that can check the levels and ratio of your LH to FSH (they should be about the same and below 10).
If that is out of balance, it can indicate PCOS.
There might be a few other tests they can do. I got the diagnosis PCOS simply because I have slightly high testosterone (normal, but high-end).
You don't have to do the MRI, you can just make sure its not pituitary or thyroid related then if the next level is still high, try the B vitamins for a little while.
They shouldn't hurt anything, but you dont' want to ignore a potential health issue like thyroid.
The stress can only stop ovulation if you haven't ovulated yet... if you've already ovulated (7dpo) then getting stressed won't do much
Hmmm, I had slightly high testosterone too. Maybe I do have PCOS without the PCO part, ha.
They checked my LH and FSH and both were normal but it wasn't CD3. I will have no luck with that test as CD3 is 3 days away and my referral appt is next month. With 50 day cycles it could be ages before I get that done.
Also, my thyroid was 3. I know that's the high end of normal, so maybe it has something to do with that, too, though the doc didn't think my thyroid was the issue.
How can they check if it's pituitary without an MRI?
Yeah, I know the stress couldn't stop my already-done ovulation but I thought it might have raised my prolactin on that day. Don't know, though....
Also, how is high testosterone treated? or high prolactin, if it's PCOS induced? Any ideas?
Some women think peppermint tea can help lower testosterone.
The way you get the bloodwork done for CD3 is to get the paperwork ahead of time (or maybe call and leave a message and ask them if they can phone it in).
I'm not sure which test is for the pituitary... I know my GYN ran a few blood tests and said it was to check my thyroid and pituitary.
If you have any hormone imbalances, a specialist or an RE can help more than a GP or a GYN.
If you have PCOS, mostly they try to treat the issue with PCOS which is late/irregular ovulation... clomid is the most popular first attempt. Might be worth trying as long as you don't have any other thyroid/pituitary issues.
Your progesterone levels are low in my opinion my doctor said mine were low at 10.2 and that was the cause for all my losses , I dont know about prolactin cause ive never had that test done. I would ask your doc about progesterone after ovulation to see if it helps
if you're pregnant, then a 10 is on the low side. If its just for ovulation, 10 is normal.
Once pregnant, your progesterone should go up....
Ruskie- was your progesterone checked after ovulation or after pregnancy?
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