What is it?
Galactorrhea, is a spontaneous, persistent production of milk by a woman who is not pregnant or lactating (producing milk after childbirth). Or very rarely, production of milk by a man or infant.
Excessive breast stimulation, medication side effects or disorders of the pituitary gland all may contribute to galactorrhea. Often, galactorrhea results from increased levels of prolactin (the hormone that stimulates milk production).
According to Mayor clinic, the cause of galactorrhea can’t be determined. The condition may resolve on its own.
What are the causes?
Lactation is initiated by a rise in the level of prolactin (hormone produced by the pituitary gland). Galactorrhea is caused by an excessive amount of prolactin being secreted as a result of pituitary tumor or other endocrine disorders.
Other possible causes include;
– Medication: Certain antipsychotic drugs such as chlorpromazine and heavy antihypertensive agents.
– Brain diseases such as meningitis
– Injury to the chest wall which might have caused damage to the nerves.
– Birth control pills
What are the symptoms?
The breast secretion is obviously milk-like. If it is of any other color or bloodstained, breast tumor should be suggested.
Various symptoms include;
– Visual disturbances
– Persistent milk discharge
How can it be treated?
Galactorrhea treatment focused on the underlined causes. If the cause is a medication you took, your doctor may advice you stop it.
Sometimes the cause may not be known, but if you experience persistent milk production, a medication that can reduce the effect of prolactin may be prescribed. Such as Bromocriptine or Cabergoline.
If the cause is as a result of pituitary tumor, drug to shrink it may be prescribed.
What to do?
If you ever experience some of the aforementioned symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Galactorrhea, may cause infertility.