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Types And Causes Of Breast Discharge

By on July 7, 2012

Breast discharge is the release of fluids from nipples of the breast. It may be considered normal in many circumstances, but it is third most important reason for seeking medical aid after, breast lumps and breast pain.

Types of Breast Discharge

Red color discharge: This type of discharge contains blood, this can be due to breast infection or it can be breast cancer.
Clear or light white discharge: This can be due to pregnancy.

Causes Of Breast Discharge

Photo Credit: http://bostonbeautyblog.com/2012/05/

Cloudy white discharge: It can be due to galactorrhea (Excessive or inappropriate production of milk)
Whitish-yellow or yellow discharge: It can be pus that is caused due to infection.

Causes of Discharge

The discharge can be classified as normal or abnormal, depending on the reasons stated below: A bloody nipple discharge is never normal, even if discharge takes place from a single breast or that occurs without stimulation or irritation is considered abnormal. On squeezing if, discharge takes place from both breasts, than it can be considered normal.

Examination of your breasts by a good doctor is very essential for considering the discharge to be normal or abnormal, nevertheless all pathological conditions related to breast discharge can be treated without much difficulty.

Types of Normal Discharge

Hormonal imbalance due to sexual stimulation, or the use of medications like birth control pills, tranquilizers, antidepressants, blood pressure medications. The imbalance in hormone prolaction can cause milk secretion. Squeezing or stimulating the breast or nipple can cause nipple discharge.

In early stages of pregnancy, women might see a watery or liquid discharge coming out of the nipples, in the later stages it might take milky appearance.After stopping of breast-feeding, one might notice the milky discharge for sometimes. Due to vigorous physical exercise or jogging, stimulation in breasts may occur due to the bra, resulting in the discharge.

Types of Abnormal Discharge

Galactorrhea

Types of Breast Discharge

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It is the condition of secreting of milk even after stopping breast-feeding. This can result due to-hypothyroidism (this is the condition in which thyroid gland does not produce thyroid hormone), marijuana (drugs), medication, herbs like star anise, it can also result due to pituitary gland tumors.

Infection in Breast

Nipple discharges oozing out pus can be caused due to infection. This condition is also known as mastitis. It generally occurs in breast-feeding women, resulting in redness and soaring of nipples.

Fibrocystic Breast Changes

Fibrocystic means lumpy due to the presence of fibrous tissues or cysts. In addition to pain and itching, the breasts may discharge fluid.

Mammary duct Ectacia

This condition occurs in menopausal women, resulting due to blockage of ducts in lower part of nipple, this result in infection which causes a greenish discharge.

Intraductal Papilloma

These are noncancerous growth in ducts of the breast. When nipples are inflamed, the papillomas cause discharge of blood or fluid that is sticky in texture.

Intraductal Papilloma

Photo Credit: http://www.scripps.org/articles/540-intraductal-papilloma

You might question now that is there a connection between breast discharge and breast cancer? Almost all types of breast discharges can be considered normal, or is a result of benign medical condition. All this can be manifestations of breast cancer; if it is accompanied by a lump in the breast. Intraductal carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that results in breast discharge. Another form of breast cancer resulting in breast discharges is Paget’s disease. This initiates in ducts of breast and then move towards the nipples. It causes the nipple or the surrounding areola to ooze blood.

Discharges are normal medical conditions in women, the initial precautionary measure would be not to squeeze or stimulate the breast, as it would result in discharge. Along with the above, visit a doctor when you have such complicacies.

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