Galactorrhea : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Lactation Without Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

This is called galactorrhea, and it can happen for a variety of reasons.

Excessive secretion of breast milk

Symptoms of galactorrhea

The following symptoms indicate galactorrhea:

  • Milky nipple discharge
  • Many milk ducts in nipple discharge
  • Spontaneous leakage of nipples
  • Absent or irregular menstrual periods
  • Head ache
  • Vision problems

It is possible that galactorrhea shows no physical symptoms and is still present in a patient.

Common causes of galactorrhea

The following are the most common causes of galactorrhea:

  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • High levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Elevated levels of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)
  • Opioid use
  • Birth control pills
  • Prolactinoma

Other causes of galactorrhea

The following are the less common causes of galactorrhea:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Excessive breast stimulation
  • Nipple manipulation
  • Long-term fabric friction
  • Nerve damage in chest surgery
  • Spinal cord injury

Risk factors of galactorrhea

The following factors may increase the likelihood of galactorrhea:

  • Most prominent among women
  • More common in women after menopause
  • Excessive breast stimulation
  • Pituitary gland disorders

Prevention from galactorrhea

Yes, it is possible to prevent galactorrhea. Prevention can be possible by doing the following:

Avoid wearing tight clothes that cause friction with the nipple.

Presence of galactorrhea

Number of cases

The following are the number of cases of galactorrhea seen worldwide every year:

  • Generally 1 to 10 lakh cases

General age group

Galactorrhea can occur at any age.

Normal gender

Galactorrhea can occur in any gender.

Laboratory tests and procedures for diagnosing galactorrhea

The following laboratory tests and procedures are used to detect galactorrhea:

  • Physical examination: Visual examination of the area around the nipple to check for breast lumps.
  • Analysis of fluid from the nipple: To confirm the presence of fat droplets in the fluid to confirm galactorrhea.
  • Blood test: To check the level of prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels.
  • Pregnancy test: To exclude pregnancy as a possible cause of nipple discharge.
  • Mammography or ultrasound: To obtain images of breast tissue to find any breast lump.
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): To check for a tumor or other abnormality of the pituitary gland.

Galactorrhea problems if left untreated

Yes, galactorrhea causes complications if it is left untreated. The list below is of complications and problems that can arise from leaving galactorrhea untreated:

Procedures for the treatment of galactorrhea

The following procedures are used to treat galactorrhea:

  • Surgery: Procedure used to treat galactorrhea

Self-care for galactorrhea

The following self-care tasks or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of galactorrhea:

  • Avoid stimulation of the nipples: Do not stimulate the nipple during sexual activity.
  • Avoid frequent breast self-examination: Restrict nipple disposal.
  • Wear soft clothing: To reduce friction between clothes and nipples.

Time for the treatment of galactorrhea

Below is the specific time period for the proper treatment of galactorrhea under a specialist supervision, while the time period of treatment for each patient may vary: