Nipple discharge is the release of a kind of fluid that seeps out of the breast. It is often called breast discharge or nipple discharge (interchangeably). Nipple discharge happens during pregnancy, and breastfeeding is normal. It happens very little with women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding their child. Though it is not the cause of concern, it needs to be evaluated by the doctor. If you are a man and experiencing nipple discharge or breast discharge under any circumstances, you need to consult a Nipple Discharge Doctor, as it is uncommon in men.
Is it normal to have a Breast Discharge?
In case you have bloody nipple discharge, then it is not normal. Other signs of abnormality include nipple discharge from only one breast without even touching, irritating, or doing any kind of heavy work. Color is not always helpful in detecting breast or nipple discharge. It is normal if you have a clear discharge from the breast when you squeeze. In both cases, color may appear.
Normal nipple or breast discharge occurs commonly in both nipples when the breast is compressed and squeezed. Some women who don’t consider this to be the cause of concern can be worse. You can actually check the nipple discharge by squeezing your breast. In such conditions, leaving the nipple for a while without touching them can help you to detect whether they are discharging any substance or not.
Based on your medical evaluation, your nipple discharge doctor will determine which condition is normal or physiologic and which is abnormal or pathologic. Even if your breast discharge is abnormal, keep in mind that any condition of breast discharge, either normal or abnormal, both are treatable.
What are the causes of breast discharge?
Some of the common causes of breast discharge include:
- Pregnancy: You can notice breast or nipple discharge in the early stages of pregnancy. In the later stage, this discharge may become watery or milky in appearance.
- Stopping breastfeeding: After the time you have stopped breastfeeding, you may likely notice breast discharge. It can be a milk-like discharge coming persistently from the breasts.
- Stimulation: Your nipple may secrete fluid in case they are stimulated or squeezed. It may also happen when your breast is chafed by your bra or while doing some heavy exercise or getting loaded by some heavy luggage.
Which doctor to go for breast discharge?
Your gynecologist will suggest to you the things to do for nipple discharge treatment. If you are not having any kind of breastfeeding, or you are not pregnant or having any underlying condition like cancer, and if your nipple discharge persists more than two weeks, you need to consult a doctor. It may have certain disorders in your body that are needed to be concerned. Plus, if you have any sign of infection, you should get it evaluated within a day or two. Usually, nipple discharge is nothing to worry about, but because of certain underlying signs, you need to get it checked by your doctor. It is important to see a doctor if you have:
- Lump in your breast
- Pain or any other symptoms of cancer
- If the discharge is bloody
- If the discharge doesn’t stop
- Only one breast is affected
Your doctor may ask you certain questions like:
- When it all did start?
- Is it happening with one breast or both?
- Does it come on its own or when you squeeze or do some heavy work?
- What are other symptoms?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
Your doctor may perform some clinical exams to check if it is a sign of abnormality or not. You may have one or two of the following tests:
- Biopsy: the doctor may remove a small sample of tissues from your breast to check whether it is cancerous or not
- Mammogram: this involves taking a picture of the breast with the help of an X-ray
- Ductogram: it involves the use of a mammogram and the injection of contrast material to get the image of milk ducts present inside the breast.
- Ultrasound: this is another test to check the image inside of the breast.
It may happen that your one or both breasts produce the serum or do nipple discharge. This may occur spontaneously or when you squeeze or do some heavy work involving body movement. Nipple discharge may squeeze out the watery substance, milky, clear, yellow or green sticky or non-sticky substance, which can also be brown or bloody in some cases. The discharge can be consistent, stick, or thin, depending on the situations you are going through. For example, while doing household chores, it may happen that one or both of your breasts gives out the watery substance. It thus depends on the type of work you are doing. Sometimes, while doing heavy exercise, the nipple discharge may happen along with sweating.
It can be alarming for those who are not breastfeeding. In case you notice nipple discharge, there is no reason to panic. But, it can be serious in case of cancer. Still, if you are not nursing, you must consult a nipple discharge doctor. Based on the symptoms and the result of your diagnostic tests, your doctor will recommend you the right thing to do.
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