, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 16–29 | Cite as

Prolactinoma through the female life cycle

  • Deirdre Cocks Eschler
  • Pedram Javanmard
  • Katherine Cox
  • Eliza B. Geer


Prolactinomas are the most common secretory pituitary adenoma. They typically occur in women in the 3rd–6th decade of life and rarely in the pediatric population or after menopause. Most women present with irregular menses and/or infertility. Dopamine (DA) agonists, used in their treatment, are safe during pregnancy, but in most cases are discontinued at conception with close monitoring for signs or symptoms of tumor growth. Breastfeeding is safe postpartum, provided there was no significant growth during pregnancy. Some women will experience normalization of prolactin levels postpartum. Menopause may also decrease prolactin levels and even those with macroprolactinomas may consider discontinuing their DA agonist with close follow-up. Prolactinomas may be associated with decreased quality of life scores in women, and play a role in bone health and cardiovascular risk factors. This review discusses the current literature and clinical understanding of prolactinomas throughout the entirety of the female life cycle.


Prolactinoma Pregnancy Menopause Hyperprolactinemia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Confict of interest

Eliza B Geer has been PI of a research grant from Novartis and has served as an occasional consultant to Cortendo, Novartis, and Corcept. The remaining authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deirdre Cocks Eschler
    • 1
  • Pedram Javanmard
    • 2
  • Katherine Cox
    • 2
  • Eliza B. Geer
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and MetabolismSUNY Stony Brook School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrine, Diabetes, and Bone DiseaseIcahn School of Medicine at The Mount Sinai HospitalNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Multidisciplinary Pituitary and Skull Base Tumor CenterMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA

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