Nipple discharge can be referred to as the leakage of fluid from one or both the nipples. After the pregnancy, it usually happens due to lactation.
However, when nipple discharge has blood in it or is unusual, it is a cause of concern and should be examined by a doctor. Discharge from one nipple can be caused by problems with that particular breast.
Discharge from both the nipples is most likely the result of medications or an endocrine gland problem, and should be investigated.
Causes of Nipple Discharge
Causes of this condition could include:
- Pressure on the nipples from a tight bra
- Inflammation of the breast ducts
- Injury to the breast
- Small growth in the breast that is usually not cancer
- Non-cancerous breast tumors
- Severe hypothyroidism
- Widening of the milk ducts
Risks related with Nipple Discharge
Nipple discharge is one of the most common breast complaints. Approximately 50% to 80% of women face this problem in their reproductive years. It can leak one or more drops of fluid. This could be a symptom of breast cancer.
The following can be done to prevent nipple discharges:
- Avoid cracking of the nipples
- Avoid use of tobacco products and quit smoking
- Lose weight
- Clean the breast and nipple regularly
How is nipple discharge diagnosed?
The doctor will first determine if the discharge is from a single breast or both. Nipple discharge from both is nearly always small, and is likely to cause because of changes like ectasia.
Symptoms of Nipple Discharge
The symptoms of this disease include:
- Bloody or colored discharge
- Discharge comes from only one breast
- Discharge without compression/squeezing
How is nipple discharge treated?
While diagnosis of the cause of nipple discharges, doctor will recommend the following ways to manage it:
- Change medication, if that is the cause of the discharge
- Extraction of lumps or the breast ducts by surgery
- Put creams near the nipples to treat skin changes
- Prescribes drugs for underlying health conditions