Lactation is a normal natural process post-delivery. This starts after delivery of the new born baby and is stimulated by the sucking stimuli by the feeding infant. In simple terms it is explained as the production of milk from the mother’s breasts post-delivery for feeding the new-born child. This process is supported by hormone production at the time of pregnancy and delivery as well as post-delivery due to stimulation of the breasts. In some cases, which are not normal lactation is observed sans pregnancy; in few cases also experienced by men. This condition is known as galactorrhoea which means lactation without pregnancy.
Some Of The Causes Of Lactation Without Pregnancy Are Listed Below:
1. Hormone Imbalance
Hormone imbalance means a variation – either increase or decrease in the hormone levels in our body. The hormones control a number of processes in our body and the imbalance could lead to a number of disorders. The main hormone responsible for lactation is prolactin. Any factor which causes hormone imbalance can result in lactation without pregnancy and this can happen in both men and women. Certain endocrine disorders involving the glands/ cells which produce hormones could result in hormone imbalance ultimately leading to galactorrhoea. This is the most common cause of lactation experienced by men. Intake of certain foods – such as soya, in excessive quantity on a regular basis could also cause hormonal imbalance leading to milk production from breasts without pregnancy. in addition to prolactin, the hormone called oestrogen could also cause lactation without pregnancy.
2. Use Of Certain Medications/ Drugs
Medicines or drugs which we take for medical conditions could have certain side effects. Now these side effects are not seen in every individual taking these pills; it varies from person to person and is dependent on individual body factors. Use of certain type of drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotic drugs, pills for birth control, contraceptive pills, painkiller drugs, etc. could result in lactation without pregnancy. In most of the cases this happens due to over use of these medicines and not within normal dose ranges. Use of certain drugs such as marijuana also leads to lactation without pregnancy.
3. Presence Of A Tumour
A tumour is nothing but overgrown cells in a certain part of the body; this could either be cancerous or non-cancerous. In cases where the tumour growth happens in a hormone producing gland or in the breast tissue the person could experience lactation without presence of pregnancy. the most common gland for such an occurrence due to tumour, is the hypothalamus which is mainly responsible for lactation without pregnancy.
4. Underlying Medical Conditions
Certain medical disorders could result in lactation without pregnancy. Some of these medical conditions include thyroid gland related disorders, disease of the liver, kidney problems. There could be other stimulating factors such as excessive stress, trauma causing a damage to the breast tissue, tumour or injury of the hypothalamus, etc. could result in lactation without pregnancy.
5. Excessive Breast Stimulation
Excessive stimulation of the breasts either due to sexual reasons or due to reasons such as medical examination or workout or use of tight clothes could result in activation of the mammary glands which produce milk – as a result producing milk without pregnancy. One example of galactorrhoea due to breast stimulation is use of pumps by mothers of adopted babies for an attempt at producing milk.