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.
1. Hormonal imbalance
2. Certain medications
3. Excessive stimulation of your nipples
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.
1. Persistent or sporadic milky discharge from one or both breasts
2. Irregular periods
3. Frequent headaches
4. Breast enlargement
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 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.