Q: What is hyperprolactinemia?

A: There are many symptoms associated with hyperprolactinemia (or elevated prolactin) though not all women with the condition have all of them. Galactorrhea, for example, is milk production from the breasts during times other than when nursing, and it is commonly associated with hyperprolactinemia.

Hyperprolactinemia can have different causes, and each cause can affect your cycles through a different mechanism. Both luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are necessary for ovulation. If, for example, hyperlactinemia is caused by a prolactionoma, a tumor in the pituitary gland, then this could interfere with the secretion of LH and FSH. Any change in LH and FSH can cause ovulation and menstrual abnormalities.