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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes white discharge from nipples?

Answered by
Dr. S Patra

OB and GYN Specialist

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 4048 Questions

Posted on Wed, 14 Jan 2015 in Pregnancy
Question: Dear Doctor

My wife is encountering white discharge from her nipples.
She is not pregnant.

Pls suggest
Answered by Dr. S Patra 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Need proper investigation under gynecologist.

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for writing to us on Healthcare Magic.

Mild milky white discharge from breast is quite COMMON and normal thing. It is called GALACTORRHEA in medical term.

It occurs MOSTLY due to elevation of prolactin hormone. Small amount is less significant and physiological. If it occurs in LARGE amount regularly or spontaneously, then underlying pathological causes should be investigated in proper way. 50% of the cases are WITHOUT any pathology.

UNDERLYING CAUSES: 1) Excessive nipple stimulation or breast massage during sexual excitement,

2) Hormonal causes like hyperprolactinemia & hypothyroid state with elevated levels of TSH or TRH hormones,

3) Certain medications (methyldopa, opiates, antipsychotics, anti-depressant etc),

4) Pituitary tumor or adenomas (causes overproduction of prolactin hormone or compression of the pituitary stalk).

Most adenomas of the anterior pituitary are prolactinomas. Increased prolactin level may cause amenorrhea or irregular cycle and infertility. It may be occurred by using birth control pills or cimetidine like H2 blocker.

INVESTIGATION: 1) Blood test for prolactin level, complete thyroid profile initially if she has irregular period or amenorrhea.

2) Pelvic ultrasound scan to check status of reproductive organs and rule out underlying pathology if any (for pain abdomen).

3) In addition, one CT scan of brain & ultrasound scan of breast are advisable in case of abnormal report of above mentioned tests.

TREATMENT: Bromocriptine or Cabergoline group of drug is used preferably to suppress milk secretion with lowering prolactin level. Supportive therapy can be given after viewing necessary test reports.

SUGGESTION: Kindly, consult with her GYNECOLOGIST regarding this for proper guidance on above investigations and treatment after clinical examination. Procure a complete prescription from your doctor.

Hope, it will be helpful for your information and understanding. If you don't have any other query, you can close the discussion.

Wish her good health and take care yourself.

Dr S Patra

For future query, you can directly approach me through
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Bhagyalaxmi Nalaparaju

The User accepted the expert's answer

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