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Symptoms of Prolactinoma

The most visible symptom of prolactinoma is unexpected milk production and lactation. Other symptoms may include:

  • Breast tenderness or pain
  • Loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, or infertility
  • Menstrual cycle irregularity (or a complete stop in menstruation)
  • Headache and fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in the sense of smell, or a runny nose
  • Vision changes

It’s important to note that a prolactinoma is not the only thing that may cause an increase in prolactin levels, and the symptoms above may be caused by elevated prolactin that is not caused by a tumor. Accurate diagnosis is important to ensure effective treatment. Whenever any hormone-related condition is suspected, the patient should be referred for testing and definitive diagnosis. (See Diagnosing and Treating Prolactinoma.)

Patients diagnosed with a prolactinoma (or any pituitary tumor) should be referred to a major medical center with an expert team of pituitary specialists. At the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, patients will be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team that includes neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, endocrinologists, and neuroradiologists. If surgery is recommended, it will be performed by a neurosurgeon with advanced skills in minimally invasive procedures to remove pituitary tumors. (See Surgery for a Pituitary Tumor.)

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Reviewed by: Georgiana Dobri, M.D.
Last reviewed/last updated: January 2018