Are your breasts leaking even when you aren’t pregnant? Here’s why it may happen

Published on: 23 January 2022, 23:38 pm IST

Have you noticed your breasts leaking even if you are not pregnant? There could be various reasons behind it, explains Dr Cuterus in her recent video.

breasts discharge
Is it even normal? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Most women are aware that their breasts produce milk during pregnancy, but did you know there could be other scenarios in which this could happen. Don’t panic at all – this is a condition called galactorrhea, wherein one or both breasts could produce a milky discharge. But why does this happen?

Dr Tanaya Narendra, also known as dr_cuterus on Instagram, has shared a video that discusses the various reasons behind this condition. The biggest factor at play is prolactin, a hormone that is responsible for lactation in pregnant and breastfeeding women, and is produced in the brain by the pituitary gland. Overproduction of prolactin is the cause behind your breasts leaking – although there aren’t too many studies that reveal why prolactin increases.

Why do your breasts leak even when you’re not pregnant, as per Dr Cuterus:

1. Hormonal imbalance
2. Certain medications
3. Excessive stimulation of your nipples
4. Tumour

Here’s the video:

Some of the other reasons may be an under-active thyroid, chronic kidney disease, nerve damage to the chest from an injury or surgery, certain types of hormonal birth control, or even spinal cord injury or surgery, and chronic stress.

Symptoms of galactorrhea

Here are some symptoms you must watch out for:

1. Persistent or sporadic milky discharge from one or both breasts
2. Irregular periods
3. Frequent headaches
4. Breast enlargement
5. Acne

galactorrhea
The leaky breast can be due to many reasons. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

If you face any of these symptoms, do not go into panic mode. Just visit your doctor and they will prescribe blood tests, laboratory analysis of the breast milk, an MRI scan of the brain, and ultrasound or mammogram of the breasts.

The last word

The condition is easily treatable. You could start off by reducing stimulation of your nipples, avoiding tight clothes, and wearing padded inserts inside your bra that can soak up your discharge. Your doctor could also suggest a change in certain medications, treating an under-active thyroid, removal of any tumour, or more.

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.

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