“After sexual activity with his boo, 29 years old Bola* noticed milky discharge from his Boo’s left breast; ‘Milky nipple discharge is no dilemma if you are pregnant or lactating, but is blood curdling when you are no pregnant’, explains Bola’s Boo”.
Galactorrhea or Nipple discharge, the persistent discharge of milk from the nipple, can occur in women not of childbearing age explains the journal on Evaluation and treatment of galactorrhea. One or both breasts are usually affected and this condition of “milk release is inappropriate and worrisome to patient” (I.M Chapman, MBBS, PhD).
Ladies with nipple discharge commonly have amenorrhea, oestrogen deficiency, and menstrual cycle disturbance including infrequent ovulation/ corpus luteum dysfunction. Galactorrhea is reported to occur in 5-32% of women.
Physiologically, milky discharge is stimulated by various factors and impulses are sent to the brain. The anterior pituitary gland, located in the brain is responsible for secreting and regulating hormones of which prolactin, the hormone producing milk and responsible for milk production letdown is formed. Alteration in the normal physiology of the pituitary gland could be a product of:
· Non cancerous tumours located in the pituitary gland
· Medications such as sedatives, high blood pressure antagonists or Herbal supplements such as anise, nettle, fennel
· Illegal drugs as Marijuana and the use of some opiates
· Infection – The breast is sore, red and warm to touch, nipple discharge contains pus
· Cancer – The discharge is bloody/brown associated with a mass. Diagnosis by mammograph required.
· Stimulation and fondling of the nipples by self or your partner
· Use of birth control pills – Oral contraceptives are the most common pharmacologic cause leading to hormonal imbalance (medicinenet.com/oral_contraceptives)
· Daily examination of the breasts as a result of anxiety or wearing clothing that irritates the nipples/breasts.
What to do?
See the doctor as soon as possible. Do not hesitate. Galactorrhea may be idiopathic or connecting to the above factors.
Reduce birth control pills, oral contraceptives also have a host of complication; make use of other means of protections such as abstinence or condoms.
The squeezing, sucking and stimulation of the nipple by your partner during sexual activity sends impulses to the brain, increased prolactin secretion results, milky discharge from the nipples. If this is the regular exercise, tell Bae to stop suckling. The doctor’s history analysis on Bola and his boo showed that she was on oral contraceptives, she took it more than once in her cycle, plus sexual activity that involved fondling of her breast. No diagnostic testing requisite.
‘Avoid performing frequent breast self-exams, manipulating your nipples’, Lifestyle and homemade remedies from Mayo Clinic.
Tightly fitted clothing that causes friction on the breast should be avoided.
P.S: The milky discharge determines the type of galactorrhea; idiopathic or otherwise. For instance a bloody yellow milky discharge associated with a lump is a sign of Cancer.
*The use of the name ‘Bola’ is fictional, but characters are real.