Nipple discharge is a normal part of breast function during pregnancy or breast-feeding. It may also be associated with menstrual hormone changes and fibrocystic changes. The milky discharge after breast-feeding will normally affect both breasts and can continue for up to two or three years after stopping nursing. A papilloma is a noncancerous benign tumor that can be associated with bloody discharge. The discharge associated with a papilloma often occurs spontaneously and involves a single duct. Although the bloody discharge may resolve on its own, your doctor will likely recommend a diagnostic mammogram and a breast ultrasound to see what's causing the discharge. You may also need a biopsy to confirm that it's a papilloma or to exclude a cancer. If the biopsy confirms a papilloma, your doctor will refer you to a surgeon to discuss treatment options. Often, nipple discharge stems from a benign condition.
Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition.
Nipple discharge is any fluid or other liquid that comes out of your nipple. You might have to squeeze the nipple to get the fluid to come out, or it could seep out on its own. Discharge is usually not serious. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of nipple discharge and when you should talk to your doctor. Nipple discharge comes in many different colors. The color can give you some clues about the cause.
What are some common nipple problems?
Some problems are related to lactation. Others are not. This normal process of dilation of the milk gland is called ectasia. Ectasia is a noncancer breast condition. In some cases, it can lead to a blockage of the ducts. This draws the nipple inward. This infection may also cause breast pain and thick, sticky nipple discharge.
Experiencing unusual nipple discharge is the third-most-common reason women visit their doctors for conditions related to their breasts. This statistic is according to the Journal of Cellular Immunotherapy , who report that nipple discharge is the third most reported symptom in the breast after breast pain and a lump. Nipple discharge can affect men and women and is not always cause for concern. In women, there are many different potential causes of nipple discharge. Sometimes, a woman can experience nipple discharge anywhere from 2 to 3 years after she stops breast-feeding. Men can also experience nipple discharge. Some of the common causes of male nipple discharge include:. Because the condition is much less common in men, a man should see his doctor if he has nipple discharge. This side effect usually subsides a few days after birth. To help find the cause, doctors will often ask questions about the discharge, including what color it is and the consistency of the discharge.