Nipple Discharge: What Could It Mean?

Nipple Discharge: What Could It Mean?

Nipple discharge is any fluid or liquid coming out of your nipple. Sometimes, you have to squeeze the nipple to get the liquid out, or it can sometimes seep out on its own. Nipple discharge is common during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, if it does not show any usual color or fluid, nothing to worry about. Still, doctor consultation is beneficial to rule out any abnormalities.

Types and Symptoms of Nipple Discharge

Nipple discharge can be of many colors; however, each colour indicates the cause behind its secretion.
In the early stages of pregnancy, some women notice clear breast discharge coming from their nipples. In the later stages of pregnancy, this discharge may take on a watery, milky appearance.

What is Abnormal Nipple Discharge?

Bloody nipple discharge is never said to be expected. Moreover, if the discharge happens only from one breast and discharge happens spontaneously without touching or stimulating the breast.

The color of the discharge is not usually helpful in deciding if the discharge is normal or not. The normal nipple discharge commonly occurs in both nipples and is often released when pressed. It is highly recommended to consult with your doctor when it is not a case of pregnancy or breastfeeding. Your doctor may recommend you some tests or screenings. For example,


  • Laboratory analysis of the discharge
  • Blood test
  • Mammogram
  • A brain scan

The possible causes of abnormal nipple discharge include:

  • The presence of the development of fibrous tissue and cysts. This medical condition is termed Fibrocystic Breast Changes.
  • Galactorrhea, a condition that secretes the liquid even she is not breastfeeding.
  • Infection.
  • Mammary duct ectasia, a condition in which inflammation occurs, including the blockage of ducts located underneath the nipple. This situation usually happens with the women approaching menopause.
  • Intraductal papilloma indicates the growth of non-cancerous tissues leading to abnormal bloody discharge with a sticky texture.

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