Womens Health

Whitish-yellow discharge from nipples

I am a 31 year old woman with fibrocystic breasts. I have never had children, but recently when squeezing my nipples on breast exam I discovered a discharge coming from both nipples. The discharge was white and cloudy but with a slight yellow/green color if put on white cloth.

My doctor ran a blood test to check for a condition having to do with the pituitary gland. I received a letter in the mail stating that the blood test showed normal levels of prolactin indicating no pituitary tumor. The doctor told me that sometimes stress can cause women to lactate.

I am concerned and want to know if this sounds feasible. It has been two weeks and I am still discharging upon squeezing my nipples. I am worried my doctor is being hasty at writing this off to stress. Please help.

First of all, stop squeezing your nipples. This may increase the discharge just like lactation. Leave off all nipple stimulation for at least 2 to 3 months.

As long as the doctor noted that the discharge was milky or looked at it with a stain under the microscope for fat globules, then it is a physiologic discharge which is like lactation.

If there were fat globules, then the discharge is galactorrhea which is a hormonal, dysfunctional disorder that will worsen or persist with chronic nipple squeezing. I do not consider once a month squeezing for breast exam harmful with galactorrhea, but daily or every other day squeezing will likely make galactorrhea persist and worsen.

If it is galactorrhea, since the blood test is normal, then nothing else needs to be done except as above with hands off.

If there were not fat globules on the microscopic exam, the discharge is likely due to the fibrocystic changes and you can squeeze to express the nipples all you want and it will not improve or worsen the discharge.

You do, however, need to watch for any blood in the discharge or if it turns green and sticky from the nipple.

If the discharge without stimulation turns yellowish as it comes from the nipple or becomes greenish brown or black, then you need to be reexamined by a breast surgeon to be evaluated for mammary duct ectasia, papillomas or breast cancer. If work-ups for those are negative, then it can just be followed under the assumption it is due to "fibrocystic changes".

Bloody discharge from nipple

For the past couple of weeks I have had a clear fluid discharge from my left nipple. Then today I noticed a bit of bloody discharge which appeared to be coming from one just one duct on the left nipple. It was bright red. Is this serious or should I wait to see if it goes away?

You need to be seen by a breast surgeon/specialist. The bleeding may represent an intraductal papilloma, a cancer, or just fibrocystic changes. You will need a mammogram and possibly an intraductal dye injection.

The observation that the blood is coming from just one duct is against fibrocystic change and is associated about 9 times out of 10 with a benign intraductal papilloma and about one time out of 10 with an intraductal carcinoma.

Be sure to have it checked out. The odds are way in favor of being a benign process but even with the small chance of malignancy, if treated early it is entirely curable.

Table of Contents
1. Mammary duct ectasia
2. What are my options?
3. Itchy nipples
4. Bleeding nipples
5. Green discharge
6. Is brown discharge serious?
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