Nipple Discharge

Georgia Breast Care

Breast Surgeons & Surgical Oncologists located in Marietta, GA & Woodstock, GA

Any fluid that comes out of your nipple is considered discharge. Discharge is generally not a serious symptom and can be natural throughout your reproductive years, even if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding. However, some fluids can be a sign of an infection or even breast cancer. At Georgia Breast Care in Marietta and Woodstock, Georgia, the team can address any concerns related to nipple discharge and your overall breast health. Call or use the online booking tool today to schedule a time to discuss any abnormalities in your breast health.

Nipple Discharge

How do I know if my nipple discharge is worrisome?

Most of the time, nipple discharge is harmless and part of breast function. Fibrocystic changes, as well as menstrual changes, can also cause fluid to leak from the breasts. If you're experiencing discharge along with the following factors, consult your physician:

  • Only one breast is leaking fluid
  • It is persistent and ongoing
  • You have a lump in your breast
  • The fluid affects only a single duct

What kind of discharge can I experience?

There are four common types of fluid that patients experience. Each type of fluid can be an indicator of your overall breast health:

Milky Discharge 

Patients experiencing a milky discharge usually have it in both breasts as the hormone prolactin rises, causing the body to produce milk during pregnancy. While a milky discharge is healthy for pregnancy, patients experiencing a milky discharge outside of their reproductive years may have a tumor or benign growth in the pituitary gland causing the release of prolactin. 

Milky discharge is also a symptom of fibrocystic breasts, which can also make them lumpy or give them a rope-like texture. If you experience a milky discharge outside of pregnancy and lactation, you should call Georgia Breast Care or schedule an appointment online. 

Bloody Discharge

Bloody discharge typically comes from one duct on the nipple's surface. The most common cause of blood released from a nipple is a benign growth called an intraductal papilloma. A papilloma irritates and inflames a breast duct. Rarely, releasing blood from the nipple can be an early sign of breast cancer. Bloody discharge should be examined by your physician to rule out further conditions.  

Green-Brown Discharge

A greenish-brown fluid leaking from the nipples is not usually a sign of a dangerous health condition. Fibrocystic breasts can release this fluid and can also present with a lumpy texture. Patients experiencing these symptoms without a diagnosis of fibrocystic breasts should call the practice or schedule an appointment online for an exam.

Clear-ish discharge

Pregnant patients may experience a clear discharge called colostrum before their milk releases. However, clear discharge outside of pregnancy may indicate an intraductal papilloma or several other health conditions. If you have a clear discharge outside of pregnancy, you should reach out to Georgia Breast care for diagnosis and further treatment.

Regardless of the type of discharge, if you're also experiencing the following symptoms, reach out to your physician:

  • Breast pain, redness, or tenderness
  • Swelling or lumps in the breast
  • Changes in the nipple, i.e., itchiness, dimpling, turning inward
  • Fever
  • Missed period
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting

Call the practice today or use the online booking tool for a breast examination for nipple discharge symptoms.