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Most people think about breastfeeding as something that only occurs after a woman has given birth. However, lactation the process of making breastmilk can work in other situations too.
Your doctor also might want you to have an MRI scan of your head to see if you have a tumor. The milk may come from one or both breasts. Already a member or subscriber? Here are some possible causes: Some medicines, like hormones, birth control pills, antidepressants, and blood pressure medicine Herbal medicines, such as nettle, fennel, blessed thistle, anise, and fenugreek seed Street drugs, like marijuana and opiates Hormone imbalances Clothes that irritate the breasts, like scratchy shirts or bras that don't fit well Too frequent breast self-exams daily exams Stimulating the breasts during sex Tumors of the pituitary say: pih-too-ih-terry gland in the brain.
Earn up to 6 CME credits per issue. Up Now. Next: Your Insulin Therapy. Men can have galactorrhea, too, but it is more common in women. Best Value! Tell your doctor if you have any of these s with your galactorrhea: Irregular menstrual periods Red bloody fluid leaking from your breasts Headaches Trouble sleeping Less interest in sex or trouble having sex Problems with your eyesight Increase in hair growth on your chin or chest Acne Increased thirst or urination. But medical information is always changing, and some information given here may be out of date.
What s should I tell my doctor about? They usually are not serious.
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These tumors are rare. Most tumors that cause galactorrhea are not cancer. Am Fam Physician. Want to use this article elsewhere? Which tests might my doctor want? Sometimes a woman's breasts make milk even though she is not pregnant or breastfeeding. Log in Best Value! Aug 1, Issue. But your doctor might want to take a blood sample to find out your hormone levels and to see if you are pregnant.
What causes lactation when not pregnant or breastfeeding?
Tumors of the pituitary say: pih-too-ih-terry gland in the brain. Purchase Access: See My Options close. This material may not otherwise be downloaded, copied, printed, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any medium, whether now known or later invented, except as authorized in writing by the AAFP.
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This handout is provided to you by your family doctor and the American Academy of Family Physicians. How is galactorrhea treated?
Read the Issue. Here are some possible causes:. What is galactorrhea?
What is galactorrhea?
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This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Galactorrhea has many causes, although sometimes a cause cannot be found.
Alerts Don't miss a single issue. Most people do not need to have surgery for a tumor. It may leak on its own or only when the breasts are touched.
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What causes galactorrhea? Get immediate access, anytime, anywhere. Read the full article. Get Permissions.
Tests are not always needed to find out what is causing your galactorrhea. Sometimes galactorrhea will go away by itself. If you have galactorrhea and no other problems, you may not have to be treated. Choose a single article, issue, or full-access subscription.
Relactation and induced lactation
If galactorrhea is a side effect of a medicine you are taking, your doctor might change medicines or give you a different dosage. In newborn babies, hormones from the mother are passed on to the baby during birth. A person viewing it online may make one printout of the material and may use that printout only for his or her personal, non-commercial reference. This condition is called galactorrhea say: guh-lack-tuh-ree-ah. They usually can be treated with medicine.
This content is owned by the AAFP. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject. Please note: This information was current at the time of publication. For regularly updated information on a variety of health topics, please visit familydoctor.