What to Do When You Experience Nipple Discharge

Nipple discharge is a natural phenomenon that can be indicative of many different things, some of which are of medical concern and some of which are harmless. That’s why it’s good to seek out the opinion of a medical professional if you start to experience this problem yourself. Below, we cover what to do when you experience nipple discharge.

What to Do When You Experience Nipple Discharge

Knowing what the exact source of this type of medical phenomenon is can give you a clearer picture over whether it’s something to be worried about or not. If you’re having issues with this, take a look at this guide that can help you deal with these things as they come up and nipple discharge diagnosis.

What Is Nipple Discharge?

Nipple discharge is a phenomenon where fluid leaks from one or both of the nipples of the breasts. This phenomenon is most common in individuals who are female but can occur in individuals of all genders. The most common source for this type of phenomenon is pregnancy, which causes the breasts to produce breast milk in anticipation of feeding a newborn.

However, there are many different conditions that can cause nipple discharge in individuals who are not pregnant. That’s why having regular breast exams can be considered essential for maintaining a high level of health throughout a lifetime.

The Different Types of Discharge

There are many different kinds of nipple discharge, and the color and viscosity of the discharge can give you an indication of whether or not there’s anything to worry about. In general, you shouldn’t worry if your discharge has the following qualities:

  • It comes from both breasts
  • It only occurs if you squeeze your nipples
  • The discharge is brown, yellow, green, or white
  • It comes from several different ducts

However, several qualities can be indicative of serious medical conditions. In general, the following conditions should be seen as a sign that something serious might be afoot:

  • The discharge only comes out of only one breast
  • The discharge comes out without you touching or squeezing your nipples
  • The discharge contains blood (this almost always indicates that there is some type of serious medical situation at hand)

In addition, you should stay aware of the discharge that comes paired with the following symptoms, as they may indicate a more serious medical situation:

  • Breast pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Changes in the appearance of your nipple

Common Causes of Nipple Discharge

At times, nipple discharge can be indicative of very serious medical conditions, like breast cancer. Some of the other common causes of nipple discharge include the following:

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Hormonal imbalances and changes
  • Nipple stimulation or experienced friction
  • Sexual arousal
  • Injury to the breast
  • Changes in medication, including medications such as birth control pills and antidepressants
  • Noncancerous cysts
  • General stress

Some of the more serious causes of nipple discharge can include the following conditions, many of which require intensive medical treatment.

  • Mammary duct ectasia
  • Pituitary gland tumors
  • Breast infection and abscesses
  • Mammary duct ectasia
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Paget disease
  • Cancerous breast tumors

In addition, you should stay aware of the fact that young infants can experience discharge as well. In most cases, this goes away on its own within a few weeks after birth. If you have been breastfeeding a newborn, you may experience some level of discharge. This is considered normal, though you may want to discuss this with your doctor just to rule out any abnormalities.

What to Do When You Experience Nipple Discharge

There are several methodologies to diagnose the source of breast discharge. Which method is employed in your situation will have something to do with the nature of the discharge. Your own visit to the clinic may involve multiple tests from the below.

  • Biopsy: This is a test where a tissue sample is taken to determine whether or not there is cancer present.
  • Hormone blood Test: During this test, the relative levels of hormones are taken in the thyroid and prolactin.
  • Imaging: There are several relevant tests in these situations, including ultrasound, mammogram, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Ductogram: In this test, the technician injects a contrasting dye into the milk ducts of the breasts and then observes the results in a mammogram.

The Best Imaging Clinic in Houston

Pink Door Imaging is one of the best resources available in the Houston Area for applying breast diagnostic imaging to patients who are looking to clear up ambiguity surrounding these issues. If you’re suffering from unwanted nipple discharge and would like to discuss breast imaging with Houston with a professional, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.

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