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Why am I getting clear oily discharge from breast?

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Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 12783 Questions
My daughter is complaining that her breast is very oily..her bra and shirt are wet with this greasy baby oil-like fluid, just one breast. She is in the third week of her birth control cycle. She didn't think it was coming from the nipple, but says it may have. She just sent me a photo, her shirt and bra are soaked. What could this be?
Tue, 18 Dec 2012 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
The discharge from breast can be due to the hormonal imbalance caused in the body due to birth control pills or frequent emergency contraceptives pills. This is called galactorrhea. This should go away on its own as nothing can be done for the hormonal imbalance.

However other causes also need to be ruled out. First of all ask her to get a serum HCG test done to rule out pregnancy due to contraception failure as oily discharge is frequent in pregnancy and HCG by serum test is more specific than a urine for pregnancy test.

Then mammary duct ectasia has to be ruled out. It causes one or more of the ducts beneath your nipple to become inflamed and clogged with a thick, sticky substance. Third possibility is of an underactive thyroid gland, tumor (prolactinoma) or other disorder of the pituitary gland and chronic breast stimulation, such as from frequent breast self-exams or sexual activity.

Last possibility is of intraductal papilloma (less likely). It is a small, usually noncancerous (benign) growth that projects into a milk duct near your nipple.
She should consult a gynecologist and get an examination done.
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.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Why am I getting clear oily discharge from breast? 2 hours later
Thank you for you response. I do have one more question: are these fluids normally oily in texture? To be more thorough, she is using the birth control to control ovarian cysts; she is not sexually active.
Thank you.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 2 hours later
Thanks for writing again.
The breast discharge most commonly is the milk and is oily in consistency.
Since she is not sexually active, using birth control pills seems to be the most likely cause of this discharge.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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