I observed milkish discharge from my nipples in the past few months. Please what can cause this and what can I do about it?

The presence of a milkish discharge from the nipples of a non pregnant or non breastfeeding woman is referred to as galactorrhea. Its causes include any conditions that stimulate the release of prolactin by the brain which in turn stimulates milk production; they include, continuous nipple stimulation, irritation of the chest wall by lesions or diseases which then stimulate milk production similar to the way nipple stimulation does, drugs such as oestroegn, methyldopa, antipsychotics and opiods and any other conditions that increase the blood prolactin level e.g. prolactinomas and craniopharyngiomas. Prolactinomas are abnormally growing cells located in the pituitary gland of the brain that secrete prolactin hormones in high quantities. The prolactin hormone is a hormone that is involved in many processes in the body including the production and secretion of milk in pregnant and breast feeding women. In non pregnant and non breast feeding women, the occurence of abnormally high levels of prolactin hormone in the blood is referred medically to as hyperprolactinaemia and is probably the commonest cause of galactorrhea. Other than galactorrhea, hyperprolactinaemia can also be associated with disorders of ovulation, irregular menses, and infertility. There is usually no reason to treat galactorrhea unless it is profuse and is disturbing in nature, or unless it is due to hyperproactinaemia with associated infertiltiy, irregular menses or presence of other symptoms associated with the primary cause of hyperprolactinaemia, e.g. headache and blurring of vision due to a prolactinoma. The treatment is usually by treating its primary cause and may include some investigations, medications and occasionally surgery in very rare circumstances. For more information kindly CHAT WITH OUR CONSULTANTS.

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