You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, you may be referred to a breast health specialist instead.
What you can do
To prepare for your appointment:
- Take note of all your symptoms, even if they seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Review key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that you take.
- Write down questions to ask, listing them in order of importance.
For galactorrhea, possible questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's likely causing my symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes?
- What kind of tests might I need?
- What treatment approach do you recommend for me?
- Is there a generic equivalent for the medicine you're prescribing me?
- Are there any at-home remedies I might try?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask you questions, such as:
- What color is your nipple discharge?
- Does nipple discharge occur in one or both breasts?
- Do you have other breast signs or symptoms, such as a lump or area of thickening?
- Do you have breast pain?
- How often do you perform breast self-exams?
- Have you noticed any breast changes?
- Are you pregnant or breast-feeding?
- Do you still have regular menstrual periods?
- Are you having trouble getting pregnant?
- What medications do you take?
- Do you have headaches or vision problems?
What you can do in the meantime
Until your appointment, follow these tips to deal with unwanted nipple discharge:
Jan. 17, 2013
- Avoid breast stimulation to reduce your chances of nipple discharge. For instance, don't touch your nipples during sexual activity. In addition, avoid clothing that causes too much friction on your nipples.
- Use breast pads to absorb nipple discharge and prevent it from seeping through your clothing.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/linkTo?type=bookPage&isbn=978-0-323-06986-1&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-06986-1..C2009-0-48752-X--TOP. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-08373-7..00002-9&isbn=978-0-323-08373-7&about=true&uniqId=343863096-23. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.
- Snyder PJ. Causes of hyperprolactinemia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.
- Mancini T, et al. Hyperprolactinemia and prolactinomas. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America. 2008;37:67.
- Snyder PJ. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of hyperprolactinemia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.
- Snyder PJ. Treatment of hyperprolactinemia due to lactotroph adenoma and other causes. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Jan. 2, 2013.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Jan. 3, 2013.
- Pruthi S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 4, 2013.