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4 possible reasons you’re experiencing abnormal nipple discharge

Dr. O.



Milk discharge from the nipple is not unusual in late pregnancy or in lactating mothers. Other forms of nipple discharge however may indicate health problems.

Here are 5 common reasons why you may be experiencing nipple discharge:

1. Hormonal changes: Changes in the levels of the female sex hormones before a period may cause clear, watery discharge from one or both nipples.
Milky discharge from both nipples in non-pregnant women, a condition known as galactorrhea, may be as a result of an excess of prolactin hormone(a hormone that stimulates milk production from the breasts in the body). Excess of prolactin hormone can be caused by:
– A non-cancerous tumour called prolactinoma in the brain which causes excess secretion of prolactin.
-A condition called hyperthyroidism in which there is an excess of thyroid hormones.
– or may be a side effect of taking certain drugs. eg. Anti-psychotics.

2. Enlargement of the breast ducts: medically known as breast duct ectasia, is a condition in which one or more milk ducts in the breast become enlarged and may produce a discharge which may be sometimes blood stained. The cause of this is unknown.

3.Breast cancer: Watery or bloody nipple discharge may be suspicious for breast cancer,however, more often than not, bloody nipple discharge is as a result of a papilloma (a non-cancerous breast tumour) in the breast.

4. Infections in the breast: Pus-discharge from the nipple may be as a result of infections in the milk ducts of the breast, these infections are usually common in lactating mothers and are usually caused by bacteria; they can be treated with antibiotics.

If you notice any abnormal nipple discharge, you should visit a standard hospital to see a doctor for proper tests and diagnosis to be carried out.

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Dr.O is a graduate of the University of Szeged in Hungary who is on a mission to reduce the mortality rate in our society by creating awareness about preventable and non-preventable diseases and empowering people with the necessary knowledge and information they need to take charge of their health. was co-founded by her as a means to fulfilling this mission. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) and Hungarian Medical Chamber certified doctor. When she is not busy looking for ways to make a difference in her environment, you can find her trying out new recipes in the kitchen or touring the world.