During late stages of pregnancy and during breast feeding women normally may release milk from the nipples. Hormonal changes may occasionally lead to nipple discharge. At other times, however, nipple discharge may be a sign of a more serious underlying disease. These discharges may appear in several forms, including clear fluid, milky discharge and bloodstained discharge. Occasionally, the discharge may have pus in it.
Causes of Galactorrhea - Breast Milk Discharge
Clear discharges occur at certain periods of the menstrual cycle, in pregnancy and in those using oral contraceptives. This usually occurs because of changes in the levels of circulating hormonal levels. Milky discharges not associated with pregnancy or breast feeding are often associated with endocrine problems. These include hyperthyroidism and pituitary tumors. Bloodstained discharge may be the result of cancerous and non-cancerous tumors. Pus draining from the nipple is often the sign of an infection of the breast.
Signs and Symptoms of Galactorrhea - Breast Milk Discharge
The color and consistency of the nipple discharge depends on the underlying cause. Clear, watery discharge may occur in some women just before the onset of their menstrual periods. It may also occur in women taking some forms of oral contraception and women in the early stages of pregnancy. A discharge in a women that is not pregnancy and is not breast feeding is referred to as galactorrhea. Blood stained discharge from the nipple may be caused by non-cancerous or cancerous tumors of the breast. Discharges that contain pus may be a sign of mastitis, an infection of the breast.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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