Breast secretions include everything that comes out of the nipples. These secretions can appear after pressure on the breast, or they may flow from the nipple without touching. (1)

Breast secretions increase in a woman’s fertile years, even with women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding. In this article, we learn about the most important causes of breast secretions, and we discuss why a transparent liquid comes out of the breast when pressed.

breast secretion

Breast secretions and fluids do not usually constitute a major problem for most women, even with their different colors, but they may sometimes indicate a health condition that requires treatment, such as breast cancer.

The color of the breast secretions should not be relied upon to judge whether there is a pathological condition or not. Yellow, white, or green breast secretions are all within the normal secretion of the breast. (2)(4)

Some secretions appear from the breasts in newborns, and disappear within a few weeks. Their continued discharge indicates the need to see a doctor. Breast secretions in men are also considered an abnormal condition. (2)

Abnormal breast secretions

Bloody secretions that come out of the nipple are considered abnormal, as well as when secretions appear from only one breast without the other, as normal ones often come out of both breasts together.

It is not normal for fluids to flow from the breast without touching the breast, stimulating it, or being exposed to any stimulus. What is normal is the discharge of breast secretions when pressed or exposed to stimuli. (4)

Women sometimes cause increased breast secretion by applying constant pressure or squeezing the breast nipples, with the aim of filtering out the secretions. This is a method of breast stimulation, and it does not cure the problem. (4)

Reasons for secretions from the breast

It is normal and usual for breast secretions to come out when pregnant or breastfeeding, due to the leakage of milk that begins to form from the first weeks of pregnancy, and continues to appear from the breast even after the woman stops breastfeeding two or three years, but it is possible to notice the runny secretions of the breast from the woman Not pregnant or breastfeeding, due to the following reasons: (1) (2)

  • It is a harmless growth in the milk ducts.
  • Benign tumors of the pituitary gland that cause prolactinoma.
  • and other endocrine disorders.
  • breast cancer.
  • Breast or nipple exposure to stimulation and arousal.
  • Hormonal change that affects women, as in periods or menstruation.
  • breast injuries.
  • Breast infection or abscess.
  • expansion of the mammary ducts.
  • Medications: Some medications cause secretions from the breasts, such as oral contraceptive pills and treatments that raise the level of prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk secretion, such as: (3)
  • Herbs: There are some herbs that affect the body with an effect similar to female hormones, causing secretions from the breast, such as the following: (3)
    • fennel.
    • anise.
    • the ring.
  • Cocaine and marijuana addiction.

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Types of breast secretions

Knowing the shape and color of secretions from the breast is useful in reaching the causes of breast secretions. Breast fluids can be divided into the following types:

  1. White secretions from the breast: It is also called milk secretions, and it is the most common type, and it often occurs with women who have recently stopped breastfeeding, or with advanced women in the premenopausal period, due to a change in the level of hormones.
  2. Green secretions from the breast: Green secretions indicate a cyst under the nipple or the areola surrounding it.
  3. Transparent secretions from the breast: Clear or clear breast secretions from one breast indicate the possibility of breast cancer.
  4. Bloody breast secretions: Bloody secretions are either due to breast cancer, which is a rare condition, or to papillomas that cause irritation in the breast duct. Papillomas are a non-cancerous tumor.

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Women are advised to seek medical advice in the event of transparent or bloody secretions from the breast, as they are sometimes associated with breast cancer, as early diagnosis is useful in reducing the duration of treatment and rapid recovery. .