Nipple discharge is nothing to worry about in breast-feeding mother, but it can seem frightening for those who are not breast-feeding. Know the major causes of nipple discharge in women.
Nipple discharge is nothing to worry about in breast-feeding women, but it can seem frightening for those who aren't. In most of the cases nipple discharge is nothing worrying and it doesn't signalize a life-threatening condition. In certain cases it is even considered normal, although you are not nursing.
However, if you notice a nipple discharge that worries you, it is best to check with your physician to see if it's normal or not. Even discharge from the nipple that is not normal can have minor causes and can be treated easily, so there's no need to panic.
Causes of nipple discharge are incredibly varied. They can range from a simple irritation caused by your clothing to more serious medical conditions. The color of the discharge is not a clue on its causes because both normal and abnormal discharge can have different colors: white, yellow or even green. Nevertheless, a bloody discharge can be considered abnormal right from the start. There is also something wrong if the discharge only occurs in one of the breasts. Squeezing your nipples might aggravate the discharge, so it is not indicated.
Some of the most common causes of discharge from nipple include:
Pregnancy - Discharge can occur as a result of hormonal changes and it is supposed to be watery in the beginning and milky as your term approaches.
Hormonal imbalances in the body - Malfunctioning of the thyroid gland might lead to galatorrhea, a condition in which a milky or watery nipple discharge is noticed.
Breast irritation - It can be the result of wearing an inappropriate bra or irritating clothes and it also occurs often in women practicing jogging because of the friction between the breast and the clothing.
Inflammation of the milk ducts - This might result in expansion or hardening of the ducts and it usually affects women that are close to menopause because of the hormonal changes that take place.
Intraductal papilloma - It is the main cause of bloody discharge, but the papilloma are not cancerous.
Certain drugs - Antidepressant, hormonal pills or pills for high blood pressure.
Breast cysts - They cause non cancerous lumps in the breast tissue and they might also cause nipple discharge.
Mastitis - It is an infection that mostly occurs in breastfeeding women, but it can also affect those that are not nursing.
End of breastfeeding - The nipple discharge might remain present for a while after you stopped breastfeeding.
Traumas of the breast tissue and cancer are very rare causes of nipple discharge.
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