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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What is galactorrhea?

Galactorrhea is a milky discharge from your nipples. When you are not pregnant or breastfeeding, galactorrhea may be a sign of other conditions. The discharge may leak on its own, or it might happen when your breasts are touched. Galactorrhea is more common in women, but it can happen in men and infants also.

What causes galactorrhea?

The cause of your galactorrhea may not be known. Common causes include the following:

What symptoms are common with galactorrhea?

Symptoms will depend on the cause of your galactorrhea. You may have any of the following:

How is galactorrhea diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about medicines you are taking. Your provider will do a breast exam. In females, blood tests may be done to check for pregnancy. The blood tests may show changes in hormone levels or problems with your thyroid, liver, or kidney function. Your healthcare provider may give you a vision test. You may need an MRI of your brain to check for a tumor.

How is galactorrhea treated?

The treatment of galactorrhea depends on the cause. Your healthcare provider may have you stop taking the medicines that are causing your galactorrhea. You may need to see a specialist. You may not need any treatment. Galactorrhea can go away on its own.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What can I do to manage galactorrhea?

Avoid breast stimulation. Wear loose clothing, and do not squeeze or rub your breasts. Stimulation signals hormones to produce the milky discharge.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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