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Prolactinoma (cont.)

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Do prolactinomas affect oral contraceptives?

In the past, oral contraceptives (birth control pills) were thought to contribute to the development of prolactinomas. However, this notion is no longer held to be true. Patients with prolactinomas who are treated with bromocriptine (Parlodel) or cabergoline (Dostinex) may also take oral contraceptives. Similarly, post-menopausal estrogen replacement is safe in patients with prolactinomas who are treated with medical therapy or surgery.

Is osteoporosis a risk in women with high prolactin levels?

Women whose ovaries produce inadequate estrogen are at an increased risk for osteoporosis. Hyperprolactinemia can cause reduced estrogen production. Although estrogen production may be restored after treatment for hyperprolactinemia, even a year or two without estrogen can decrease the strength of the bones. Women should protect themselves from osteoporosis by regular exercise and increased calcium intake through diet or supplementation, and by avoiding smoking. Women may want to have bone density measurements. They may also want to discuss estrogen replacement therapy with their doctors.

Medically reviewed by John A. Seibel, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with a subspecialty in Endocrinology & Metabolism


"Prolactinoma." National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Updated April 2012.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/7/2016


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