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- Hormonal imbalance
Some medications, such as:
- Stopping or starting to take birth control pills or other hormones
- Certain blood pressure drugs
- Certain psychiatric medications
- Anti-nausea drugs
- Some antigastroesophageal reflux medications
- Some pain killers
- Certain herbs, such as :
- Illicit drugs, such as marijuana and opioids
- Sexual stimulation of the breast
- Certain diseases, such as underactive or overactive thyroid, and chronic kidney failure, or liver disease
- Chronic emotional stress
- Hypothalamic tumors or disease
Chest wall conditions, such as:
- Surgical scars
- Tumors of chest wall
- In newborns, high levels of circulating estrogen may result in enlarged breast tissue and secretion of milk
- Wearing clothing that irritates the nipple
- Frequent breast self-exam or frequent breast stimulation
- Abnormal or absent menstruation
- Heat or cold intolerance
- Disordered appetite, increase or decrease in weight
- Increased thirst or urination
- Loss of sex drive
- Bloody or foul-smelling discharge
- Acne or abnormal hair growth
- Visual difficulties
- Impotence in men
- A sample of the breast discharge to look at under a microscope
- Blood tests to check hormone levels
- Pregnancy test
- Imaging tests to check for a pituitary gland tumor in the brain:
- Surgery to remove the tumor and nearby tissues
- Radiation therapy to shrink tumors
- Avoid wearing clothing that irritates the breast.
- Avoid frequent breast self-exam; usually once a month is enough.
- Avoid excessive sexual stimulation of the breasts.
- Do not use illicit drugs.
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
National Library of Medicine http://www.nlm.nih.gov
Canadian Family Physician http://www.cfpc.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Eftekhari N, Mohammaalizadeh S. Pregnancy rate following bromocriptine treatment in infertile women with galactorrhea. Gynecol Endocrinol . 2009;25(2):122-124.
Galactorrhea. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/galactorrhea.html. Updated August 2010. Accessed June 11, 2013.
Hyperprolactinemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what. Updated March 5, 2012. Accessed June 11, 2013.
Leung AKC, Pacaud D. Diagnosis and management of galactorrhea. Am Fam Physician . 2004; 70:543-550,553-554.
Rodden A. Common breast concerns. Primary Care . 2009;36(1):103-113.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2013 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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