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Lactating or discharge from nipples. Normal after menopause?

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lactating/discharge is it normal for a 47 year old mom to lactate 11 years after nursing last baby? Also, no menstrual cycle for 7 or 8 years now.
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Thyroid Problem and Hormonal Problems
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 52 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

I presume your query is about an abnormal discharge from the nipple or actual lactation. There is an ambiguity in your query. Hence I answer accordingly. If my presumption is wrong, please let me know so that I can correct during my reply.

After menopause, any kind of persistent breast discharge needs to be evaluated.

The causes of such a discharge could be-

1.     Hormonal shifts from sexual stimulation, pituitary tumors, underactive thyroid, and the use of certain medications like birth control pills, blood pressure medications, major tranquilizers, antidepressants, or ulcer medications can cause an imbalance in the hormone prolactin which stimulates milk production.

2. Breast Infection: A spontaneous pus-like discharge from the nipple due to mastitis (breast infection) or breast abscess and may require an antibiotic to treat.

3. Duct ectasia: Multi-colored discharge from one nipple that occurs most often in a milk duct that is clogged and swollen. Although it usually clears up by itself, it should be monitored.

4. Stimulation: Squeezing or expressing the breast or nipple can produce a nipple discharge.

A smear of the discharge fluid, ultrasound or mammogram, blood tests to exclude hormonal abnormalities need to be done for proper diagnosis.

You can consult your gynecologist for appropriate tests and further treatment.

Hope this answers your query. I will be glad to answer the follow up queries that you have.

Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.

Wishing you good health.

Dr. Rakhi Tayal.
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