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Lab Test


The macroprolactin test is a diagnostic blood test that measures the levels of a specific form of prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, known as macroprolactin. Macroprolactin is a large form of prolactin that is not bioactive. However, it can interfere with regular prolactin function and lead to hyperprolactinemia, a condition characterized by higher-than-normal levels of prolactin in the blood.

  • Test Name: Macroprolactin
  • Sample: TypeBlood
  • Preparations Required: No special preparations like fasting or restrictions on diet and activities are required before this test.
  • Report Time: 3 weeks

Prolactin plays a key role in a variety of bodily functions, particularly those related to reproduction. In women, it aids in the production of breast milk after childbirth, while in men, its functions are less well understood but it's thought to play a role in the production of sperm. While it's normal for prolactin levels to fluctuate during the day and in response to physical stimuli, persistently high levels of prolactin – especially macroprolactin – can lead to symptoms such as menstrual irregularities, infertility, and production of breast milk in individuals not pregnant or nursing (galactorrhea).

Home Sample Collection Process

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Sample Collection by Phlebotomist
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Reporting of the sample at lab
Reporting of the sample at lab
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Frequently Asked Questions

A macroprolactin test is used to detect the presence of high levels of macroprolactin in your blood. This can help determine whether symptoms such as irregular periods, infertility, or unexplained milk production are due to elevated levels of this particular form of prolactin.

The macroprolactin test is a simple blood test. A healthcare professional will draw a sample of your blood, usually from a vein in your arm. This sample is then sent to a lab for analysis.

No special preparations like fasting are needed before a macroprolactin test. You can continue with your regular diet and activities.

High levels of macroprolactin can indicate a condition known as macroprolactinemia, which can lead to symptoms like irregular menstrual periods, infertility, or the production of breast milk in individuals not pregnant or nursing. However, the exact implications of high macroprolactin levels can vary depending on the individual, and further tests may be needed to determine the underlying cause.

Yes, men can also have high macroprolactin levels. While prolactin's role is less well understood in men, high levels can lead to symptoms such as decreased libido, impotence, infertility, or even galactorrhea.

The frequency of testing for macroprolactin levels depends on your symptoms, medical history, and doctor's recommendations. Regular testing may be required if you are being monitored for conditions related to high prolactin levels.

Macroprolactin tests require a blood sample to be drawn which should be done by a healthcare professional. Therefore, it is not typically done at home.

If necessary, the test can be done during pregnancy. However, prolactin levels normally increase during pregnancy, so the results need to be interpreted carefully in this context.

Certain medications can affect the levels of prolactin and thus the results of a macroprolactin test. Always inform your doctor about any medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, you are taking before the test.

Treatment for high levels of macroprolactin usually involves addressing the underlying cause. This may include adjusting medications that affect prolactin levels, treating related conditions, or in some cases, prescribing medications to lower prolactin levels.

Endocrinologists often order macroprolactin tests, but any physician can order the test if they suspect a problem with your prolactin levels based on your symptoms and medical history.

The risks associated with the macroprolactin test are minimal and are similar to those of any routine blood draw. These may include minor pain or bruising at the site where blood is drawn.

Yes, stress can cause temporary increases in prolactin levels. It's advisable to have the test done when you're not under severe stress to get accurate results.

The treatment for high macroprolactin levels will depend on the underlying cause. If a certain medication is causing high levels, it may need to be adjusted or changed. If a pituitary tumor is the cause, treatment may involve medication, radiation therapy, or surgery.

Coverage for the macroprolactin test will depend on your specific insurance plan. It's advisable to check with your insurance provider for coverage details.

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