Endocrine System Home > Prolactinoma and Pregnancy
A woman with a prolactinoma may wonder if there are things to consider regarding her prolactinoma and pregnancy. Women who are pregnant -- as well as those who are considering becoming pregnant -- and who have a prolactinoma must be closely monitored and see their doctor for regular checkups. Symptoms related to prolactinoma and pregnancy may include nausea, excessive thirst or urination, and extreme lethargy.
If a woman has a small prolactinoma, there is no reason that she cannot conceive and have a normal pregnancy after successful prolactinoma treatment. The pituitary enlarges and prolactin production increases during normal pregnancies in women without pituitary disorders.
Women with prolactin-secreting tumors may experience further pituitary enlargement and must be closely monitored during pregnancy. However, damage to the pituitary or eye nerves occurs in less than 1 percent of pregnant women with prolactinoma. In women with larger tumors, the risk of damage to the pituitary or eye nerves is greater, and some doctors consider it as high as 25 percent. If a woman has completed a successful pregnancy, the chances of her completing additional successful pregnancies are extremely high.
A woman with a prolactinoma should discuss her plans to conceive with her physician so that she can be carefully evaluated prior to becoming pregnant. This evaluation will likely include a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to assess the size of the tumor and an eye examination with a test of the visual fields.
As soon as a patient is pregnant, her doctor will usually advise that she stop taking bromocriptine or cabergoline, two common medications used in prolactinoma treatment. Most endocrinologists see patients every two months throughout the pregnancy.