Some of you are aware that my daughter, Beckie, has been having “female” issues for several years now. It all started several years ago when her primary care physician referred her to a gynecologist for the problems. At this time lab work was done to check her hormone levels. Her prolactin level came back at 68. The normal range for this hormone is 2-23. She was sent to the hospital for an MRI of her brain to check for a tumor on her pituitary gland of her brain. She was also referred from this office to a Pediatric gynecologist in Louisville. She had additional tests (MRI, ultrasounds, and more lab work).
Fast forward to today. She has continued to have problems over the last three years and today we finally got some more answers. She has a prolactinoma which is a mass on the pituitary gland. this has caused her prolactin levels to go through the roof. It is also what is causing her other problems.
The new treatment that she has started as of today includes several medications. The first is called Bromocriptin. This medication is taken twice a day and is usually very effective in lowering the levels of prolactin in the bloodstream. The second medication is Medroxypr AC, and the last is a birth control pill to help regulate her. The estrogen in the birth control pills will also work to help decrease the size of the mass. It is important the prolactinoma be reduced because if it continues to grow it will eventually start to cause other issues because it will be pressing on other areas of her brain and is also near the optic nerve for her eyes and can affect her eye sight.
She goes back to the doctor in 6 weeks to have her prolactin levels tested again and if they have not gone down or have only gone down a small amount, they will increase the dosage of Bromocriptin. If the numbers still do not come down then she will be referred to a neurosurgeon for evaluation.
If surgery is eventually required, they make a small incision inside the nose and go through the sphenoid sinus. The surgeon can then remove the mass through this area.
it is important for this to be taken care of because the mass is causing her to bleed very heavily and for long periods of time. She has experienced bleeding every day for the past 6 months. There is also the risk of her starting to hemorrhage. The doctor explained to us today that if she decides to get pregnant in the future that the medication will have to be stopped and if it is helping to keep her counts lowered, the counts will again rise.
The symptoms of a prolactinoma are:
Irregular menstrual periods, acne, excessive body hair, low bone density, reduced hormone levels (other hormones) as a result of tumor pressure, headaches, visual disturbances, and infertility.
Some possible complications include vision loss, bone loss, and pregnancy complications.
Keep Beckie in your thoughts and prayers that this medication works and she does not have to have further treatment.