Serum prolactin levels during the menstrual cycle

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1977 May;44(5):989-93. doi: 10.1210/jcem-44-5-989.


Serum prolactin has been measured in blood samples collected daily during 51 menstrual cycles using an homologous human radioimmunoassay for 17 cycles and an homologous ovine radioimmunoassay for 34 cycles. There was a progressive and significant increase in serum prolactin during the late follicular phase, with a maximal value concomitant to the LH peak. Serum prolactin levels were also significantly higher during the luteal phase than during early follicular phase. In some 70% of the individual cycles, the highest serum prolactin level was found at mid-cycle. Similar patterns were obtained with both radioimmunoassays. However, when using the same laboratory serum standard, the average serum prolactin level calculated for the entire cycle was 1.6 times higher with the homologous ovine assay than with the homologous human assay. The overall pattern of serum prolactin during the menstrual cycle resembles that reported for circulating 17beta-estradiol.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menstruation*
  • Prolactin / blood*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Sheep
  • Species Specificity


  • Prolactin