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Published: Sept. 26, 2008
Updated: Sept. 8, 2010
Galactorrhea is the release of milk in a non-pregnant woman. Prolactin is responsible for the production of milk.
Prolactin is a hormone of the endocrine system that is released from the pituitary gland. The pituitary is located at the floor of the brain just above the mouth and nasal passages.
Prolactin can hormonally interfere with the normal function of the hormones that govern follicular development and the menstrual cycle.
Prolactin tumors may also cause the pituitary to stop producing other hormones, namely follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, which will also have an impact on normal reproductive function.
Your prolactin levels will be evaluated, but keep in mind, prolactin levels can be elevated without causing galactorrhea.
Imaging of the pituitary gland may reveal a tumor of the pituitary gland.
Treatment will depend on several factors but most pituitary tumors that are small can be treated with medication that allows ovulation and menses to return to normal.
Learn about other potential diagnoses: