A prolactinoma is a noncancerous tumor located in the pituitary gland in the brain which results in abnormal levels of prolactin being produced. One of the major side effects of an increase in prolactin is a decrease in sex hormones, progesterone in males and estrogen in females. The condition can also lead a couple that is trying to conceive to experience fertility impairment due to a hormonal imbalance.
While a prolactinoma is not a life-threatening condition, it can interfere with vision, fertility and cause many other side effects. A prolactinoma is one of the most common types of pituitary tumors and often a physician will be able to treat the problem using medications which can restore the body back to normal. Prolactinoma symptoms in men and women will differ, but can include the following:
- In females, irregular menstrual periods or lack of menstrual cycle
- In females, a milk-like discharge from the breasts when neither pregnant or breastfeeding
- In females, painful sexual intercourse because of lack of vaginal moisture
- In males, erectile dysfunction is common
- In males, a decrease of body hair
- In males, gynecomastia (enlarged breasts)
Both genders can also experience the following prolactinoma symptoms:
- Loss of libido
- Low bone density
- Reduced hormonal production of the pituitary gland due to tumor pressure on surrounding tissues
- Visual disturbances
Both men and woman can experience prolactinoma symptoms, but in women it tends to be more pronounced. It is important for people to pay attention to prolactinoma symptoms in men and women, because it can interfere with the ability to become pregnant when trying to conceive. If any of the above signs or symptoms are noticed at any time, it is very important for a person to seek medical attention in order to have the condition properly treated and restore fertility. Once a diagnosis of prolactinoma has been made, there are a number of different medications and treatments which can help the individual. Through a combination of lifestyle choices and medical treatment, it is possible for a prolactinoma to be treated and managed. It is important to follow the advice and treatment plan outlined by a medical professional and if any other side effects are present, these too need to be addressed and treated in order to avoid experiencing infertility due to prolactinoma tumors.