Natural Treatment to Lower Prolactin

Prolactin is a pituitary hormone that promotes lactation. It’s also involved in ovulation, orgasm, breast health, immune function, and mood. High prolactin is called hyperprolactinemia.

Symptoms of high prolactin include irregular periods or no periods, premenstrual mood symptoms, loss of libido, headaches, breast pain, vaginal dryness, acne, and hirsutism or facial hair. It’s one of several causes of excess androgens that can be mistaken for polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS.

How to diagnose high prolactin

A healthy non-lactating level of prolactin is less than 500 mIU/L or 23 ng/mL, and an optimal level is less than 300 mIU/L or 14 ng/mL.

Serum levels of prolactin levels can be falsely elevated by many things including stress, sex, exercise, and eating, so to obtain an accurate reading, try to have the test under the following conditions:

  • early in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle
  • between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m.
  • fasting
  • hydrated
  • not directly after exercise or sex
  • relaxed, and
  • not on hormonal birth control.

If your prolactin is elevated on at least two occasions, the next step is to identify the underlying cause with the help of your doctor. Common causes include:

  • prolactinoma, which is a benign pituitary tumour
  • high estrogen, either endogenous or from the pill
  • medications such as SSRI antidepressants and stomach acid medication
  • underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism
  • undereating including anorexia nervosa
  • alcohol, and
  • stress.

If you have severely elevated prolactin due to a prolactinoma, you may require the medication bromocriptine. For other causes, the best strategy is to address the underlying problem. That can mean taking thyroid hormone to correct hypothyroidism or speaking to your doctor about alternatives to your antidepressant or stomach acid medication.

For mildly elevated prolactin in the range of 300 mIU/L to 500 mIU/L, you can consider natural treatment

Natural treatments to lower prolactin

  • Reduce alcohol, especially beer, because barley stimulates prolactin. That’s why beer was traditionally prescribed to increase milk supply. Do not exceed four alcoholic drinks per week.
  • Address any underlying issue with thyroid or undereating.
  • Reduce stress with yoga, meditation, and long slow walks.
  • Consider taking vitamin B6 which lowers prolactin levels by increasing the neurotransmitter dopamine.
  • Consider taking the herbal medicine Vitex agnus-castus (also called chaste tree or chaste berry) which lowers prolactin. The exact dose depends on the formulation of the product. Read The do’s and don’ts of Vitex for period problems.

👉🏽 Tip: Vitex suppresses prolactin so strongly that it can mask the symptoms of a prolactinoma, so check with your doctor about high prolactin before trying natural treatment.

Ask me in the comments.

20 thoughts on “Natural Treatment to Lower Prolactin”

  1. Hi Lara,

    I’m 33. Is there anything that can be done to change this to be able to ovulate again? This year i only had 1 period and that was induced by primolut after 7 months no period at all.
    My cortisol: 518 nmol/L, LH: 16.6 U/L, FSH: 5.3 IU/L which the ratio is 3:1 (and i cant take vitex due to high LH) and Prolactin: 763 mIU/L (I’m not pregnant/breastfeeding/post-pregnant and no breast tenderness and lactation). I can’t figure out which type PCOS i’m having since I have never been to the pill, not glucose intolerant (confirmed by fasting glucose test), not overweight. I’m so confused and my doctors suggestion was asking me to lose more weight.
    I would like to know what’s the problem and want to ovulate naturally.

    Reply
  2. Is it possible that years of breastfeeding non stop (continued feeding through subsequent pregnancies) multiple babies into toddlerhood could cause these PCOS like high prolactin symptoms of female pattern hair loss, acne and facial hair when I had no hormonal or period issues prior? Thyroid and nutrient deficiencies have been explored/resolved.

    Reply
  3. Hello, Because there isn’t a topic on pre menopausal I thought this the best blog to comment on.

    What happens if you’re premenopausal (pre 30)? Is there anything that can be done to change this to be able to ovulate again? It’s obviously a rather worrying situation for my health and I have been off medication in isolation while I was exploring accupuncture. I have also taken herbs previously from a professional herbologist. PRTLY Because of the cost, I came off them as I found it very difficult to know if it was making a difference but I think it is worth exploring again.

    I have come on and off HRT and Oestrogen (the progesterone pill) as the doctors prescribed me. Only yesterday did I decide to go back on them due to the hot flushes in the evening and worrying that I wasn’t with these vital hormones?
    Do you think I should be taking them or go back to natural herbs etc?
    I have a very good diet to make sure I am doing the best I can for myself in this situation but I dont know whether to carry on with HRT or come off it.
    I am ideally trying to find the source of the problem and heal myself to start ovulating again… Which I know can take time.

    Reply
  4. Hello! What can I do if I cannot stop taking my antidepressant in at least a year? Supposing that is the cause of my high prolactin levels. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  5. Thanks so much for the post Dr. Briden!

    I have high prolactin + hypothyroid.

    I have made the many lifestyle changes you listed so that great to hear I am on the right track.

    We have worked on my thyroid with meds and its responding well.
    My doctor has been very vocal that prolactin has been in play with my long term HA, and after seeing another spike (along with just the increased stress of the times) we are moving forward with medication.

    I really appreciate your post and constantly refer back to you book.
    You deliver is everything!
    Practical and EASY to understand.

    So. EMPOWERING.

    Forever a fan and advocate of womens health.

    Reply
  6. Funny how high prolactin has many of the same symptoms as Estrogen Excess and Hypothyroidism.

    I didn’t realise how stressful low carb and low calore with excessive exercise and excessive caffeine was to body until my body started shutting down and my periods lasting months.

    This was many years ago and Vitex fixed these issues for me (but word of warning, expect to possibly experience the worst anger ever the first few days of taking it – after that it was a Godsend).

    Reply
  7. Hi Lara, I have hypothyroidism and was diagnosed more than 20 years ago. My dose has been significantly reduced over the last 4 years since turning 40. I take 100mcg of levothyroxine. I’m now 46 and having symptoms of terrible mood swings, anger, stress, anxiety, and acne all related to pmt. my Dr says my hormone levels are “normal” and all they offer is antidepressants. I’m exercising regular and doing yoga and meditation. What do you suggest please?

    Reply
  8. Is breast stimulation raising prolactin, and is it a problem? Or is it only raising it for a short period of time?

    Reply
  9. Is there a relation between prolactin and high cortisol? My cortisol levels are through the roof, and my breasts kill and I can’t sleep. Getting a doctor to test all these things is SO hard. Regular doctors are clueless to this stuff. I am having to do all my own research trying to find out what’s wrong with me. It’s so frustrating!!!!

    Reply
  10. Hi Lara! I’m in the midst of tests for high prolactin, found in routine bloods after an endometriosis diagnosis (which brought me to your resources – thank you!). It’s too high but not hugely so. I’ve had bloods repeated several times, including over a two-hour window. The next step is a brain scan if they think I need one but the hospital are using locums who keep leaving so I’ve been waiting for months. I didn’t think I had any symptoms but your article makes me think that I do. It’s been high for a year now. Are the two conditions linked? And are there any effects of it being high over time? Thank you!

    Reply
    • it’s pretty common to see high prolactin with endometriosis. I’m exactly sure of the mechanism, but high prolactin does potentially contribute to the immune dysfunction that underlies endometriosis.

      Reply
  11. Hi doctor. I have excessive facial dark hair around my jaw and neck; I have regular periods – between 4-6 days; I am 36 years old. some flare ups of acne but not intense; facial hair seems to get worse after period but this sometimes may also occur before period. Breast pain occasionally but not always. I was tested for high prolactin twice. The first time the number was nearly 600. The second time I was told it was only slightly raised and I was told no other intervention was needed. I had thyroid tests done (Although probably not full panel) and all was normal. PCOS was also not detected through blood work but I know the testing may be limited. I am not overweight / underweight and have remained consistent in that regard.
    I have also been dealing with excessive hair loss after a traumatic event two years ago and now still shedding but with some recovery in between. I am.also from greek ethnicity and my mum and sister also have excessive facial hair. Should I take vitex to assist with slightly raised prolactin ? Or perhaps start with b6? Unfortunately I was not given the actual reading the second time. Perhaps, I could follow up with more testing. Many thanks. X

    Reply
  12. In February when I went for my routine check, my prolactin was high and my Fsh too. I placed on carbogaline. Did a repeat test in April, my Fsh had normalized by prolactin was still high. After reading your post, I think stress was major contributor to d high prolactin. My act scan in March came out clean. Been wondering why my prolactin is still high.

    Reply
  13. Hi Dr. Briden,

    Thank you so much for sharing this information so freely. Would prolactin levels affect waking temperature at all? Mine tends to be unpredictable (97-97.7 degrees), especially in my follicular phase. Just wondering why that would be. My cycles tend to be pretty long (~37-40 days).

    Reply

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