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Prolactin is a peptide hormone that is known to regulate lactation in females and are a negative regulator of steroid hormones (estrogen and testosterone) when it is highly elevated.

Our evidence-based analysis on prolactin features 14 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Frequently Asked Questions about Prolactin

Does ejaculation affect testosterone levels?
Ejaculation results in changes in prolactin (increase) and dopamine (temporary decrease), but does not result in changes in testosterone. Although prolactin and dopamine are both involved with testosterone, they do not appear to influence testosterone levels acutely.

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect prolactin
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-c Minor Very High See 2 studies
A decrease in prolactin appears to occur following Mucuna or L-DOPA ingestion
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in prolactin has been noted with nicotine ingestion
grade-c Minor - See study
May decrease prolactin in instances of uremia, but there is currently no evidence in otherwise healthy controls.
grade-c - - See study
No detectable interactions with fenugreek and prolactin levels
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence on prolactin levels
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on prolactin concentrations
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on prolactin in men
grade-c - - See study
Supplementation of 60mg saffron for 26 weeks does not significantly influence prolactin in infertile men.
grade-c - - See study
No significant interactions with prolactin and velvet antler noted
grade-d Minor - See study
An increase in prolactin has been noted following acute ingestion of alcohol
grade-d - - See study
No effect on prolactin levels in women with PCOS.
grade-d - - See study
Prolactin appears unaffected following licorice consumption
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on exercise-induced prolactin
grade-d - - See study
One study found a reduction in Prolactin relative to baseline, however, this isn't statistically significant
grade-d - - See 2 studies
grade-d - - See study
No detectable increase in prolactin in persons who are deficient in zinc and then supplemented to restore levels.


  1. Exton MS, et al. Endocrine response to masturbation-induced orgasm in healthy men following a 3-week sexual abstinence. World J Urol. (2001)
  2. Jiang M, et al. A research on the relationship between ejaculation and serum testosterone level in men. J Zhejiang Univ Sci. (2003)
  3. Krüger T, et al. Neuroendocrine and cardiovascular response to sexual arousal and orgasm in men. Psychoneuroendocrinology. (1998)
  4. Krüger TH, et al. Specificity of the neuroendocrine response to orgasm during sexual arousal in men. J Endocrinol. (2003)
  5. Krüger TH, et al. Effects of acute prolactin manipulation on sexual drive and function in males. J Endocrinol. (2003)
  6. Krüger TH, et al. Orgasm-induced prolactin secretion: feedback control of sexual drive. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. (2002)
  7. Stahl SM. The psychopharmacology of sex, Part 1: Neurotransmitters and the 3 phases of the human sexual response. J Clin Psychiatry. (2001)
  8. Motofei IG, Rowland DL. Neurophysiology of the ejaculatory process: developing perspectives. BJU Int. (2005)
  9. Pharmacotherapy for Premature Ejaculation.
  10. Assessment of erectogenic properties of apomorphine and yohimbine in man.
  11. McMahon CG. Treatment of premature ejaculation with sertraline hydrochloride: a single-blind placebo controlled crossover study. J Urol. (1998)
  12. McMahon CG, Samali R. Pharmacological treatment of premature ejaculation. Curr Opin Urol. (1999)
  13. Krüger TH, Hartmann U, Schedlowski M. Prolactinergic and dopaminergic mechanisms underlying sexual arousal and orgasm in humans. World J Urol. (2005)
  14. Passie T, et al. Ecstasy (MDMA) mimics the post-orgasmic state: impairment of sexual drive and function during acute MDMA-effects may be due to increased prolactin secretion. Med Hypotheses. (2005)