Signs and symptoms associated with galactorrhea include:

  • Persistent or intermittent milky nipple discharge that has no trace of blood
  • Nipple discharge involving multiple milk ducts
  • Spontaneously leaked or manually expressed nipple discharge
  • One or both breasts affected
  • Absent or irregular menstrual periods
  • Headaches or vision problems

When to see a doctor

If you have a persistent milky nipple discharge from one or both of your breasts and you're not pregnant or breast-feeding, make an appointment to see your doctor.

If breast stimulation — such as excessive nipple manipulation during sexual activity — triggers nipple discharge from multiple ducts, there is little cause for worry. The discharge probably doesn't signal breast cancer, but you should still see a doctor for evaluation.

Nonmilky nipple discharge — particularly bloody, yellow or clear spontaneous discharge that comes from one duct or is associated with a lump you can feel — requires prompt medical attention, as it may be a sign of an underlying breast cancer.

Jan. 17, 2013

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