The thought of nipple discharge might be a bit scary for some women. Whether leaking nipples is something that you need to be worried about depends on when the discharge is occurring. It is normal for women who are breastfeeding to have leaking nipples.
Nipples can leak when they are pinched, squeezed or stimulated in any manner. Stimulating them will send a signal to the pituitary glands in the brain to release prolactin which is a hormone that stimulates the production of milk. The release of this hormone will then cause the nipple to leak. Some medications such as birth control pills and high blood pressure medication are known to increase the level of prolactin.
While it is more than likely that your leaking nipples should not worry you, there are times when a nipple discharge is an indication of something serious. If you are not breastfeeding and the fluid comes out like milk and it is free flowing, you need to have the levels of you prolactin checked. Overproduction of this hormone in women who are not lactating can be a sign of pituitary problem. Your doctor might have to check your thyroid as there are some thyroid imbalances that lead to discharge by the nipples.
Nipples can get infected. Leaking nipples might also be a sign of an infection. Although it is rare, men can also have nipple infection which leads to discharge. Leaking in men is not normal and it has to be checked by a medical practitioner immediately.
Every woman is worried about breast cancer and they are right to be scared. Women are told to be very conscious of their breasts and be aware of any changes. The first fear that comes to mind when one has leaking breasts is that they have cancer. In rare cases, this is true and there will be other accompanying signs with the discharge such as a lump. It is therefore vital for one to do self check examinations often.
The main thing that you need to take into account when you have a leaking nipple is that you do not have to be worried. Women have to be aware of their bodies and especially their breasts as any changes may be trying to tell you something. If the change in your breasts or nipples are making you uncomfortable, get in touch with your doctor; it is better to be safe than sorry.
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