Q: Hello Dr, my friend said her breast discharges. What could be the cause because I know she has no baby in her hand right away?
Q: That reminds me too Dr. Please reply to this one. Breast discharge without being pregnant…is this normal for a young lady?
A: I’ve received a couple of questions on this issue…many which I cannot reproduce to conserve space 😀 These two will serve as the template for all related questions.
There are different issues that can cause nipple discharge. The discharge can be bloody, milky, clear etc. The colour may not tell us much as to whether the discharge is normal or abnormal.
Milky discharge from the breast is called galactorrhea and is usually the symptom of a problem. For more on this please click on the link: https://chatwithdrketch.com/2014/04/18/daily-health-tips-why-do-i-have-nipple-discharge-when-im-not-pregnant/
Causes of breast discharge include:
• Breastfeeding: The release of milk may also persist for a while even when breastfeeding has been stopped.
• Stimulation of the nipples during sexual foreplay or even pressing the nipple by people who are worried about the nipple discharge or friction between fabric and nipple can lead to nipple discharge.
• Breast abscess or infection
• Hormone imbalance
• Injury to the breast
• Some medications
• Cancer of the breast
To determine cause, the doctor may do a scan, take tissue sample to examine (biopsy) etc
Treatment depends on cause. If due to pregnancy or breastfeeding, it will eventually stop. If due to stimulation, the discharge will continue as long as the stimulation is present. If due to injury, it will also stop with healing. If the discharge is due to medication, stopping the medication is sufficient to bring this to a stop.
Bloody discharge, discharge from one breast only and discharge that happens spontaneously without the breast being touched or pressed is likely to be abnormal. These should be checked out as soon as possible in the hospital.
If the discharge is present during a menstrual period and persists into the next cycle, please see your doctor too.
Have a great night, everyone. If you’re in Nigeria, I hope you had a great Democracy Day and enjoyed the inauguration of the new Government.
Awesome days ahead! Let’s all play our parts.