Effect of long-term, high-dose estrogen treatment on prolactin levels: A retrospective analysis

T. Sathyapalan, S. Gonzlez, S. L. Atkin

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3 Citations (Scopus)


BackgroundExogenous estrogen administration causes prolactinoma formation in rats and there are anecdotal reports of estrogen treatment and prolactinoma formation in human transsexuals with male-to-female gender reassignment. It remains unclear whether chronic exposure to high-dose estrogen in women is linked with hyperprolactinemia. AimThe aim of this study was to determine whether high-dose, long-term subcutaneous estrogen treatment affected prolactin and gonadotropin levels. DesignThis was a retrospective, observational and descriptive analysis of 101 women treated for up to 15 years following a combined hysterectomy and oophorectomy. MethodA total of 101 women who were receiving estradiol implants 50100 mg 46 monthly, on demand for 515 years following abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salphingo-oophorectomy were studied. The main outcome measures were levels of serum prolactin, follicle stimulating hormone FSH and luteinizing hormone LH. ResultsThe 101 patients received an average cumulative estrogen dose of mean ± SEM 1239 ± 12 mg per person, 18.96 ± 1.2 mgkg body weight, over a period of 515 years. The trough estradiol levels after withholding implants for 6 months were high 1047.9 ± 52 pmoll. Their average prolactin level of 88.88 ± 9.2 mUl was normal and their FSH 1.96 ± 0.42 IUl and LH 2.97 ± 0.88 IUl levels were relatively suppressed. ConclusionThese data are reassuring that, even in women exposed to very high doses of estrogen for a prolonged period of time, hyperprolactinemia is unlikely to occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-430
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2009



  • Bone mineral density
  • Estrogen implant
  • Gonadotropin
  • High-dose estrogen
  • Prolactin
  • Prolactinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

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