What does a nipple discharge can mean?

Gytree Team
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What does a nipple discharge can mean?

Verified by Dr. Vaishali Sakpal Rane (MBBS, DGO Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DNB Obstetrics and Gynaecology)

Any liquid or fluid that leaks from your nipple can be referred to as a nipple discharge. The fluid may need to be squeezed out of the nipple, or it may trickle out on its own. 

Even if you are not nursing, nipple discharge can occur during the pregnancy time. In most cases, discharge is not significant. However getting discharge normally can be an indication of some kind of infection and sometimes even indicate breast cancer, therefore it's worth discussing with a doctor. Nipple discharge may be found in a variety of hues. The hue may reveal some information about the reason. In general, a discharge that is white, hazy, yellow, or loaded with pus might indicate a breast or nipple infection. Greenish discharge, on the other hand, may suggest cysts. Clear or bloody discharge might be a sign of breast cancer, especially if it is only coming from one breast. Brown or cheese-like discharge is an indication of mammary duct ectasia (blocked milk duct). Discharge can also be found in a variety of textures. It might be thick, thin, or sticky. The discharge might occur from either one or both nipples. 

You could also have the following symptoms in addition to nipple discharge: 

  • breast tenderness or pain
  • a breast bulge or enlargement around the nipple 
  • nipple changes such as inward twisting, dimpling, changing colour, itching, or scaling 
  • Skin changes such as rash or lesions, as well as redness 
  • fever 
  • period omissions 
  • vomiting or nausea 
  • fatigue 
  • lump in breast

Small quantities of milk may seep out when pregnant or nursing. The leaking can begin early in pregnancy and can last for up to 2 or 3 years after you stop breastfeeding.

You may experience discharge even if you are not lactating but it's worth having it checked out by a specialist. The doctor will perform a clinical assessment on your breasts to look for lumps or other indicators of malignancy. You can address the nipple discharge if you know what's causing it. Treatment might not be required for discharge brought on by pregnancy, nursing, or hormonal changes. Based on the situation, your doctor may manage discharge for various reasons.

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