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Galactorrhea

  • Overview

    Galactorrhea literally means "flow of milk." It refers to a milky discharge from the nipple of the breast in someone who is not nursing a baby.

    • Galactorrhea may occur in men and women.
    • Galactorrhea usually occurs from both breasts.
    • It is not a disease, but rather a symptom that can have several causes.

    Here at Children’s Hospital Boston, the Reproductive Endocrine Practice evaluates and treats male and female patients with a wide range of adolescent reproductive and endocrine disorders that affect reproductive function. We are one of the most experienced programs of our type in the country and have been serving the needs of patients and their families since 1970. Your child is in good hands with us.

      
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    Boston Children's Hospital
    300 Longwood Ave.
    Boston MA 02115

     617-355-7181
    +
    Boston Children's at Waltham
    9 Hope Avenue Waltham, MA
    Waltham MA 02453

     781-216-2100 
     fax: 781-216-2194
    Boston Children's at Lexington
    482 Bedford Street
    Lexington MA 02420

     781-216-2999 
     fax: 781-672-2145
    Boston Children's at Peabody
    10 Centennial Drive
    Peabody, MA 01960

     781-216-3400 
     fax: 978-538-3610
    Boston Children's Physicians Weymouth
    The Stetson Building
    541 Main Street
    Weymouth, MA 02190

     781-216-3800 
     fax: 781-335-5628


  • In-Depth

    What causes galactorrhea?

    Many different things may cause galactorrhea, including:

    • pregnancy (that may have gone unrecognized)
    • trauma
    • surgery

    Certain drugs can cause galactorrhea, including:

    More serious causes of galactorrhea include:

    • the presence of a small tumor in the pituitary gland (at the base of the brain)
    • hypothyroidism (low thyroid function)
    • liver, kidney or spinal cord problems
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