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Nipple Discharge


Nipple discharge

is fluid from one or both nipples. Fluid may come out on its own or when you touch your breast or nipple. The fluid may be white, yellow, green, pink, watery, or bloody. Nipple discharge is normal in a woman that is pregnant or breastfeeding. A woman should contact her healthcare provider if she has nipple discharge when she is not pregnant or breast feeding. A man should always contact his healthcare provider if he has nipple discharge.

Symptoms that may happen with nipple discharge:

  • Fever or body aches
  • Breast pain or discomfort
  • A swollen breast or nipple
  • A change in breast shape
  • A change in nipple shape or color
  • Swollen lymph nodes under your arms

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have more breast discharge or it changes color.
  • You have new or worsening breast pain.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for nipple discharge

will depend on what has caused it. Medicines that cause nipple discharge may be stopped or changed. You may need antibiotics if your nipple discharge is caused by a bacterial infection. You may also need medicine to control your hormone levels.

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.


  • Avoid touching your breasts or nipples. This may stop or decrease nipple discharge.
  • Wear a tight-fitting bra during exercise. This may prevent your nipples from rubbing against clothing or leaking fluid.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Nipple Discharge (Ambulatory Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.