Excessive secretion of breast milk

Symptoms of Galactorrhea

The following features are indicative of Galactorrhea:
  • milky nipple discharge
  • multiple milk ducts in nipple discharge
  • spontaneous leakage from nipples
  • absent or irregular menstrual periods
  • headache
  • vision problems
It is possible that Galactorrhea shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Galactorrhea

The following are the most common causes of Galactorrhea:
  • hyperprolactinemia
  • elevated levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • elevated levels of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)
  • opioid use
  • birth control pills
  • prolactinoma

Other Causes of Galactorrhea

The following are the less common causes of Galactorrhea:
  • hypothyroidism
  • excessive breast stimulation
  • nipple manipulation
  • prolonged clothing friction
  • nerve damage in chest surgery
  • spinal cord injury

Risk Factors for Galactorrhea

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Galactorrhea:
  • most prominent in females
  • more common in women after menopause
  • excessive breast stimulation
  • disorders of the pituitary gland

Prevention of Galactorrhea

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Galactorrhea. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid wearing tight clothing that causes friction with nipple

Occurrence of Galactorrhea

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Galactorrhea cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Galactorrhea can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Galactorrhea can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Galactorrhea

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Galactorrhea:
  • Physical examination: Visual examination of the area around nipple to check breast lumps
  • Analysis of fluid discharged from the nipple: To see the presence of fat droplets in the fluid for confirmation of galactorrhea
  • Blood test: To check the level of prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) level
  • Pregnancy test: To exclude pregnancy as a possible cause of nipple discharge
  • Mammography or ultrasound: To obtain images of breast tissue to find out any breast lump
  • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging): To check for a tumor or other abnormality of pituitary gland

Complications of Galactorrhea if untreated

Yes, Galactorrhea causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Galactorrhea is left untreated:
  • irregular menses
  • infertility
  • osteoporosis

Procedures for Treatment of Galactorrhea

The following procedures are used to treat Galactorrhea:
  • Surgery: Procedure used to treat galactorrhea

Self-care for Galactorrhea

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Galactorrhea:
  • Avoid stimulation of nipples: Don't stimulate nipples during sexual activity
  • Avoid performing frequent breast self-exams: Restrict manipulating nipples
  • Wear soft clothing: To minimize the friction between the fabric and nipples

Time for Treatment of Galactorrhea

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Galactorrhea to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Galactorrhea.

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