February 8, 2011

Galactorrhea – Milky Nipple Discharge

Posted in Category : Women's Health

While the act of nursing a child is a very intimate act between a mother and her child, experiencing milky discharge from the breast during a social gathering can be a very embarrassing situation. The situation could be even more of a problem when the individual is not actually pregnant or even nursing at the time. A milky nipple discharge is referred to a condition known as Galactorrhea. The condition is characterized by the spontaneous flow of milk from a woman’s breast and is totally unrelated to either childbirth or nursing. One aspect that needs to be kept in mind during the diagnosis of Galactorrhea is that it is not the discharge of any liquid from the breast, but the discharge of milk as there are other conditions that are known to cause nipple discharge – but not the substance of milk. Because of the fact that the condition is not a very commonly discussed one – mostly because of the social embarrassment that is tied to it, a lot of people are unaware of the details of the condition such as the causes of Galactorrhea as well as the various symptoms of Galactorrhea. Understanding these factors will help you diagnose as well as deal with the condition more constructively. For instance, one of the most common misunderstandings about the condition is that it will only affect a woman. However, studies have shown that both, males and females can be affected by the condition. It is also not unusual for a new born to suffer from Galactorrhea because of the hormones that have been passed on from the mother to the child, although this is likely to subside in a couple of months. Another aspect of the condition that most people are unaware of is the fact that the condition is not a disease on its own, but more likely to be a development of some other underlying medical condition that might need to be analyzed.

Some of the most common causes of a milky nipple discharge include side effects of medications such as oral contraceptives, disorders affecting the pituitary gland as well as excessive breast stimulation. The condition could also possibly stem from increased levels of a hormone known as prolactin – which is concerned with stimulating milk production in the breasts. Another very common cause of the condition happens to be nerve damage around the chest wall as a result of some kind of surgery around the area. Most males that suffer from Galactorrhea are known to suffer from testosterone deficiency – usually also leading to breast enlargement as well as tenderness.

Given the fact that the condition is a very embarrassing one to have to live with, most people will start to look for the various Galactorrhea treatments as soon as they realize that they are affected by it. Identifying the root cause of the problem plays a key role in every case; however, some cases will see the doctor unable to accurately point out the root cause of the condition in a specific instance. In the event that the condition is triggered by some kind of medication dependency that results in the chemical balance of the body being affected – it is highly recommended that you check with your doctor for an alternative of that substance. In the event that you are affected by Galactorrhea and are medically unable to take any of the medication, surgery would be your best bet to get rid of it once and for all. The surgical procedure that will help get rid of the problem is known as bilateral duct excision and will require the surgical removal of the milk ducts from both of the breasts.