KidsMD Health Topics

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 Boston Children’s Hospital, 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.

      
  • 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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