Signs & Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer Elevated Prolactin Levels

Updated April 17, 2017

Hyperandrogenism, is a condition where the adrenal glands or ovaries secrete excess adrenal hormones. The excess androgens may be due to ovarian cancer or a tumour of the adrenal glands. It causes a female to develop male characteristics.

Hyperandrogenism is also associated with hyperprolactemia, a disorder where a hormone called prolactin is excreted at high levels. Due to this connection between excess androgens and prolactin, a woman with hyperprolactinemia may have ovarian cancer and show signs and symptoms of high prolactin levels.

Irregular Menstrual Cycle

Abnormal menstrual cycle is a symptom of high levels of prolactin. In this case, a woman's period may be irregular or absent. Prolactin inhibits ovulation in women and this may affect menstruation.

Amenorrhoea-galactorrhea syndrome.

Secretion of breast milk in the absence of a period and when not pregnant or nursing is called amenorrhoea-galactorrhea syndrome. Prolactin stimulates the production of breastmilk in pregnancy and performs this function at high levels in non pregnant women.


Increased prolactin in the blood can lead to decreased levels of ovarian hormones. This may in turn cause infertility, vaginal dryness, decreased sex drive, painful sex, and tiredness.


Male characteristics such as excessive hair growth on the body may occur in females with hyperprolactenemia. This is because hyperandrogenism is associated with high levels of prolactin and is induced by ovarian cancer.

Bone Density

High levels of prolactin may cause ostoeporosis which is low bone density. Oestrogen is required for the absorption of calcium in the body and a lack of calcium leads to osteoporosis. Low oestrogen levels in hyperprolactemia prevent adequate absorption of calcium.

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About the Author

Ngozi Oguejiofo has been writing on a freelance basis since 2009 and most of her writings are focused on health. She is currently a registered nurse. She is interested in teaching, and writes articles focused on student nurses for various online publications.