The color of the discharge isn’t helpful in determining whether the discharge is normal or abnormal. Normal as well as abnormal discharge can be clear, white, yellow or green.
Bloody discharge is always abnormal. Nipple discharge from one breast and discharge that occurs spontaneously without anything touching the breast must be reported immediately.
Normal discharge occurs in both nipples and when the nipples are squeezed. In these instances, leaving the nipple alone for a while, helps improve the condition.
Nonetheless, if you are not breast feeding, you must confer with your health care when you notice nipple discharge.
Your doctor will talk to you and depending up on the medical evaluation; the physician will decide whether the discharge is normal or abnormal.
Green Discharge from Nipple Causes
- Pregnancy: during the 1st trimester, some women notice some discharge coming from their nipples.
- Stopping breastfeeding: after you have stopped breast feeding, you may observe milk-like discharge for a while.
- Stimulation: nipples release some fluid when they are squeezed. It could also occur when the nipples repeatedly gets chafed by the bra or during vigorous exercise.
Reasons of Abnormal Discharge from the Nipple Are
- Fibrocystic changes: fibrous tissue and cysts may develop within the breast. This may cause lumps in the breast tissue. Fibrocystic changes may cause secretion of clear, white, yellow, or green nipple discharge.
- Infection: green-yellow discharge containing pus indicates infection in the breast. This is mastitis; and is seen in breast feeding women. The breast may turn hot, sore, and red. Galactorrhea: a woman may secrete milk even though she is not nursing.
- Mammary duct ectasia: a common cause of abnormal nipple discharge. It occurs in women approaching menopause. The breast tissue gets inflamed and the ducts underneath the nipple get blocked. Infection may develop and there will be green discharge.
- Intraductal papilloma: non cancerous growths in the ducts of the breast which trigger nipple discharge.
- Cancer: sometimes discharge from the nipple may be due to malignancy / cancer. There will be an associated mass or lump as well.
Is There Anything To Worry?
There is no need to get alarmed or distressed; however, you must talk your gynecologist about your symptoms without any delay. By and large, the symptoms may be benign; nevertheless, it is always advisable to seek medical opinion. Your doctor may order a few tests and investigations to be conducted to understand the precise cause. In case the initial medical assessment indicates that the discharge is abnormal, the doctor may ask for further tests. It will help find out the underlying condition causing the problem. You gynecologist may ask you to carry out:
- Blood tests
- Laboratory examination of the nipple discharge
- Surgical excision and scrutiny of a duct in the nipple
- Brain scan
Based up on the investigations and examinations, your doctor will decide what the most appropriate line of treatment for you is.