Discharge from the chest before menstruation in women can be both a physiological feature and a sign of any pathology. If such a symptom occurs, you should contact a specialist who will examine the patient and make the correct diagnosis. It is important to diagnose the disease as early as possible and to begin its effective treatment.
Physiological changes in the work of the mammary glands are observed throughout life and are determined by the age and phase of the menstrual cycle. This process is affected by pregnancy or breastfeeding, as well as the work of hormonal regulation centers.
The formation of the glands ends in girls by the age of 12–16 and they acquire a symmetrical shape. In some cases, there are small deviations, when one breast is larger in size than the second. Such changes are not considered pathology and are considered as a variant of the norm.
After installing a regular menstrual cycle, some changes in the chest begin. In the days before ovulation, the number of lactocytes increases in a woman’s body, which causes a slight increase in the mammary glands. Increases blood flow and there is a slight accumulation of fluid in adipose tissue and extracellular space.
During pregnancy, the breast undergoes even greater changes and after the appearance of the child, milk begins to stand out from them.
The hormone oxytocin affects the production of breast milk, and after the end of the lactation phase, the glands change. Their size decreases markedly as the number of lactating cells decreases.
When menopause and reduce the effects of hormones, the breast enters a phase of involution. The amount of glandular tissue decreases, the milky ducts atrophy and the amount of adipose tissue significantly increases.
Throughout a woman’s life, the mammary glands undergo a difficult path from development to peak activity during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and after the onset of menopause, the glands age involution.
Among the physiological reasons that provoke the appearance of nipple discharge, the following can be highlighted:
- Violation of hormone levels in the body. Often, bad habits, stressful situations and emotional overstrain become the cause of this condition. In addition, hormonal levels may change when taking contraceptives and when menopause occurs.
- Medication. Some groups of medicines have a negative effect on the state of the milky ducts and the glands themselves. Among these drugs can be distinguished antidepressants, tranquilizers and drugs for the treatment of the cardiovascular system.
- Damage of a different nature. Various damages to the tissues, nerves and vessels of the chest can cause secretions of the milk secretion from the nipples.
- Renal failure and development of renal failure. This pathological condition causes the accumulation and excess amount of prolactin in the female body, because the kidneys control the utilization of such a hormone.
- Too violent intercourse with increased nipple stimulation. With a strong arousal, increased stimulation of the nipples can be the cause of discharge from the breasts.
- Acceptance of herbs based on herbs that stimulate lactation. Plants such as anise, fennel, cumin and dill can increase colostrum production without pregnancy.
- Disruption of the thyroid and imbalance in the endocrine system. Such a condition in combination with an increased concentration of estrogens leads to the fact that a clear discharge from the chest before menstruation increases in volume.
- Disturbances in the pituitary gland. This part of the brain controls the synthesis of many hormones, and any disruptions in its work affect the state of the entire female body. Prolactin, which produces breast milk, is no exception.
Physiological causes cause the appearance of discharge of white or yellow, without impurities and unpleasant odor.
In the event that the blood or pus is present in the discharge and the general condition of the woman deteriorates, this indicates the pathological nature of the symptoms.
In the video about the causes of nipple discharge:
- With the onset of pregnancy already for a period of 2-3 weeks there may be a slight release of colostrum from the nipples. Hormonal preparation of the body for breastfeeding begins. The whole period of lactation and some time after the end of up to 2-3 years milk is secreted from the breast.
- Small clear discharge from the mammary glands when pressed can flow in non-pregnant in the absence of disease - it is a sterile fluid formed by the gland and output to the outside. Normally these are odorless, scanty, colorless drops. Appear for several reasons:
- when squeezing the nipples,
- heavy physical exertion
- wearing close bras,
- before the start of the menstrual cycle
- when taking oral contraceptives.
Such secretions are not pathological, that is, they do not indicate the presence of the disease, but they are not the norm in the usual sense - their appearance indicates a violation of a healthy lifestyle or fluctuations in hormonal levels.
Medical examination of the mammary glands - ductography - involves the introduction of a contrast agent, which, after the procedure, is separated from the nipples.
Signs of pathology
The appearance of discharge from the mammary glands in the absence of pregnancy and in non-nursing women speaks about the development of pathology. Such signs as color of discharge, smell, abundance, density matter.
It is worth paying attention to the presence of other symptoms: engorgement, pain, change in the color and shape of the nipples and the surrounding areola, redness of the skin of the breast, change in the shape of the gland. One or more signs indicate the onset of the disease and the need for urgent examination.
In case of injury of the mammary gland (bruise, sharp squeezing), it is possible for fluid to flow from the nipple when pressed, sometimes mixed with blood. The consequence of injury may be the formation of an abscess - accumulations of purulent contents.
Ectasia of the milk ducts
With the onset of menopause, the ratio of adipose and connective tissue in the mammary gland changes, the ducts may expand and deform. Ectasia (ductasis) of the milk duct, which is also called plasmacytic mastitis, develops. The mucous secretions with greens or an admixture of black. Painful sensations may not be.
The cause of development is transferred and purulent mastitis, post-traumatic inflammation. Excessive milk production during lactation can lead to the expansion of the milk duct. Despite the fact that ectasia itself is not a serious disease, it may indicate the beginning of the oncological process and requires careful examination and treatment.
Diagnosis of ectasia in addition to conventional mammography and ultrasound provides for cytological examination of secretions for malignant degeneration.
In most cases, treatment of ectasia is therapeutic: prescribing a course of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, immunomodulators, hormonal correction, application of compresses. If the condition does not improve, a sectoral resection is indicated - the affected duct is surgically removed.
Intraductal papilloma (cystadenopapilloma)
For various reasons (due to injury, with hormonal imbalance), a fungus-like papilloma can form inside the milk duct. This is a benign tumor that produces a liquid secret, which is released from the duct.
Non-inflamed papilloma does not cause any painful sensations, its obvious signs are viscous bleeding from the breast. When an infection penetrates, inflammation is possible - the tumor becomes hard to the touch, it can be easily felt, and the characteristic discharge is yellow, with an admixture of pus.
Cystadenopapilloma is a precancerous disease. If it is detected, it is necessary to conduct not only general examinations - mammography and ductography, but also puncture taking from a tumor in order to determine its possible malignancy. Treatment is only operative - a sectoral resection is performed, the tumor and part of the milk duct are removed. The chest is preserved.
Fibrocystic mastopathy (fibrocytosis)
Caused by fluctuations in hormonal levels. Liquid-filled cysts form in the breast tissue. In this disease, nipple discharge is usually brown or greenish. In addition to discharge, symptoms of mastopathy are swelling, thickening of the glands, a feeling of fullness, especially before menstruation.
Fibrocyst requires therapeutic treatment and constant monitoring. With a favorable course of mastopathy, cystic tissue gradually resolves, malignant transformations are rare.
This inflammation of the breast tissue is caused by penetrating staphylococcal infection and has a purulent character, most often develops in nursing mothers. Inside the gland, this creates purulent foci - abscesses, their contents are excreted through the nipples. The general state of health can worsen, the temperature rises. In the treatment of mastitis use antibiotics. In severe cases, if the discharge from the chest is abundant, carry out an operation to remove purulent contents.
In this condition, colostrum is released from the nipples - a thick or liquid white secretion resembling milk. Occurs in non-pregnant, nonspugal women, in men, and even in children. Galactorrhea is not an independent disease - it is a symptom of increased production of prolactin (a milk hormone). Failure in the body causes a violation of the functions of the thyroid gland, which in a healthy state "inhibits" the production of milk. Diseases of the pituitary and hypothalamus, the brain regions that regulate the functioning of the hormonal system, can lead to galactorrhea.
Pathology is treated by eliminating the causes: after excluding a possible pregnancy, a blood test is conducted for the presence of thyroid hormones, sex hormones, magnetic resonance imaging of the pituitary and hypothalamus, a course of hormonal therapy is prescribed. When detecting brain or thyroid tumors, surgery may be required.
With a malignant tumor in the mammary gland secretions are quite rare and possible in two cases:
- intraduktal cancer - located in the milk duct,
- in advanced advanced stages of cancer,
- discharge from only one gland affected by the tumor.
The discharge fluid is bloody, yellow or mixed with pus. In cancer, there is a change in the shape and color of the nipple, its engagement, possibly a change in the size and shape of the gland, an axillary lymph node increases, and a hard seal can be felt in the chest.
Diagnose breast cancer in most cases, when self-examination, reception at the mammologist. The detected seal is examined using mammography, ultrasound, MRI, biopsy.
A malignant tumor that does not have metastases can be removed by sectoral resection, in which case it is possible to preserve the breast. For large tumor sizes, mastectomy is performed — all of the gland and surrounding affected tissues are removed.
Only about 5% of all detected neoplasms are cancerous, but it is impossible to pull on a call to a doctor, finding strange signs. Any pathological process can give rise to cancer.
In order to catch the incipient disease in time, it is useful to periodically inspect the breast yourself. It is easy and does not take much time.
Inspection is carried out in the first half of the monthly cycle after the end of the month.
- Bared to the waist, you need to stand in front of a mirror. Hands down, carefully examine the chest - whether there are redness, swelling, changes in the shape of the glands. Raise your hands behind your head, inspect the chest in this position.
- Gently squeezing the nipples at the base, check for any discharge.
- Holding one hand behind the head, inspect each gland from the nipples to the armpits with soft circular motions. Repeat the examination in the supine position.
Normally, no hardening or swelling should be felt in the chest. Any oddities should be alerted - discharge, nipple retention, bulges, changes in skin color.
It is required to inspect the breasts independently every 3-4 months, this will allow to notice any changes in time.
When detecting secretions from the mammary glands, be sure to immediately consult a doctor. Panicking and fear is not necessary. The vast majority of cases of discharge from the glands is not cancer. The term “cancer phobia” is even common among doctors; the fear of this disease is so strong among patients. Timely diagnosis and treatment will prevent the development of complications.
"The Secret" of the mammary glands
Three reasons for discharge:
In a non-pregnant woman, discharge occurs in the form of a small amount of liquid (drops), light or transparent, odorless. This secret is produced by the mammary glands when the level of prolactin rises - a hormone responsible for the production of milk in case of pregnancy.
Important! In the early stages (before the expectant mother learns about carrying a child), this symptom and delay should give rise to thoughts about the possible acquisition of a test.
All attention is on the chest. Women in an interesting position after 5 months may have discharge. They wear a yellow, milky hue.
After weaning the baby for a short time, white drops (milk) are noticeable. They can appear after pressing, stimulating the mammary glands. If the irritating factor is removed, then the discharge of such a nature will soon end.
While taking oral contraceptives. Before use, you need to examine the list of possible side effects and contraindications.
The mammary glands are a hormone-dependent organ, it constantly experiences the effects of hormones. Especially during the different phases of the menstrual cycle.
In the first half of the possible growth of breast tissue due to increased estrogen, then the days of menstruation come, and excess fluid can be removed.
Most of the fair sex do not know what nipple discharge is, so it is better to reinsure yourself and undergo an examination (before this you can do a self-examination), especially when there are accompanying symptoms:
- Colour. Brown drops may contain blood impurities, which indicates a chest trauma or neoplasm (intraductal papilloma, benign tumor, oncology after the first stages of development). Greenish and yellow - a sign of possible suppuration.
- Pains The mammary gland hurts when squeezing the nerve endings. This may be an abnormal growth of its tissues or a capsule with a secret, which also affects the sensation of a woman. Where it hurts and when pressing or after (during) menstruation, you need to remember or write down and then tell the gynecologist or breast specialist.
- Smell of emitted fluid. Unpleasant should be a signal to urgently seek medical care.
Important! Do not panic. It is worth wearing comfortable underwear, less nervous and do not postpone the visit to the specialist. It is better to immediately dispel fears.
Causes of possible pathologies
Often, discharge from the chest is a symptom of possible pathologies that a girl (most often a woman after 30 years of age) does not realize if the disease is otherwise asymptomatic or nothing hurts.
Possible diseases or disorders during which excreted fluid from the nipples appears:
Ectasia. Inflammations of the breast provoke the formation of fluid. It is localized in the ducts. The color may be greenish, there are brown discharge.
The disease is also characterized by changes in the nipple area (cavities, seals), possible formations in the bust itself. Sometimes the chest aches, hurts.
The main thing is to figure out which microorganisms (bacteria, viruses caused inflammation).
Galactorrhea. Such light or dark brown discharge from the nipples is associated with the production of prolactin. Before menstruation, its level may increase. The main thing is to understand what factor caused this disease. These may be oral contraceptives, a brain tumor, thyroid dysfunction, or hormonal failure. If there is a delay - this is also a sign of the "game of hormones."
Intraductal papilloma. It acts as a cause for excreted fluid, with blood clots, brown drops. In this case, the chest sometimes hurts, and the fluid is released after squeezing the nipple.
Mastopathy. The development of benign tumors, especially of a cystic nature, can also lead to fluid leakage (in particular, if the integrity of the cyst is compromised).
Hormonal disorders. Before prescribing a treatment, a gynecologist or mammologist may refer the patient to an endocrinologist and ask for donation of blood for the maintenance of female hormones, the liver and pancreas. If a woman is constantly faced with such a thing as a delay, she can also talk about a hormonal failure.
Benign mobile education - fibroadenoma.
Beat breast tissue. An unexpected fall, bruise or sudden jolt can cause injury.Hematomas that require treatment are formed in the tissues. They can affect the flow of fluid from the nipple.
Oncology. This dangerous disease in the later stages can affect the formation of unnatural secretions from the mammary glands (with blood, brown).
Find and cure the disease
Before you start thinking about going to a doctor, a girl of reproductive age should exclude pregnancy. If the lower abdomen hurts, there is a delay (10 or more days waiting for menstruation), and light drops began to appear from the nipples - this is the reason for acquiring a pregnancy test.
The main stages of diagnosis:
- Palpation and survey. The gynecologist, to whom the patient must turn first, will conduct a survey before the examination. The external picture will be incomplete without more detailed study.
- To see what happens with the mammary gland, mammography will help more clearly and informatively.
- Ultrasound. Not so dangerous as X-rays, the study of ultrasonic waves reflects the structure of healthy tissue and pathological.
- Ductography. An introduction to the mammary glands of a colored substance that does not penetrate where papillomas are. This fixes a special device.
- Cytological analysis (it recognizes the nature of the abnormal cells). Often the procedure is prescribed to exclude the possibility of oncology.
If treatment is started earlier, it will pass almost imperceptibly (using drug therapy), delaying the visit to the consultation can lead to surgery.
Pathological causes of discharge
If bleeding from the chest appeared or they became of another unusual color, they are accompanied by pain, an unpleasant smell, itching, then this means the presence of a pathological process.
Diseases that can lead to discharge from the chest include:
- intraductal papilloma,
- ectasia of the milk ducts,
- hormone imbalance
- chest injuries
- breast cancer.
The expansion of the milk ducts is most often associated with age-related changes in the breast. This disease is characterized by brown discharge from the nipples, and they are also yellow-greenish in color.
When a woman applies, the gynecologist will conduct a visual examination of the mammary glands and their palpation. Will try to figure out the nature of the discharge:
- their color, whether there is blood in them,
- self-appearance or after pressure,
- frequency per month and texture,
- the presence of pain
- appearance from one or both glands,
- connection with injury
- period of menstruation.
From instrumental methods used ultrasound of the breast, mammography. If an ectasia is suspected, ductography is performed - a study of the ducts of the mammary gland.
When smears are taken, cytological examination is carried out under a microscope, and crops are made to isolate pathogens and determine their sensitivity to antibiotics.
In case of suspected hormonal disorders, the doctor will recommend to make an MRI of the head with a focused study of the Turkish saddle - the location of the pituitary gland. You will also need blood to study the concentration of hormones of the pituitary, thyroid, ovaries.
The main drugs for the treatment of mastitis are antibiotics. Anti-inflammatory, resolving drugs are prescribed. Apply drugs to improve immunity, vitamins. Some types of mastitis require surgery.
With galactorrhea, it is necessary to determine its cause. The doctor will clarify whether the woman is taking oral contraceptives or other drugs for a long time. In this case, they are canceled, adjust the dose or pick up other drugs. When endocrine pathology produce treatment of the underlying disease.
Treatment of mastopathy depends on its type. Conservative treatment is applied: it is necessary to normalize the menstrual cycle and the pituitary gland, the ovaries, to eliminate the gynecological pathology. Diet, vitamins, anti-inflammatory drugs.
In some cases, mastopathy is followed by surgical treatment. Therapy for breast cancer, Paget's disease, ectasia and papilloma is performed by surgery.
- Every woman should be regularly examined and palpation of the breast. Every 2 years to be examined by a mammologist, and after 50 years each year to conduct a mammogram.
- Selection of oral contraceptives should be done only by a doctor.
- If possible, avoid strong stress and mental stress, to lead a healthy lifestyle. We need to get rid of bad habits, pick up a healthy diet.
- Excess weight leads to undesirable changes in the mammary gland and contributes to ectasia.
One of the pledges of a woman’s health is the correct menstrual cycle, a manifestation of which is also discharge from the chest. In some cases, this phenomenon is considered normal. But nevertheless, any changes in the menstrual cycle, for example, discharge from the nipples before menstruation, require a mandatory consultation with the doctor.
What is considered normal?
Often before the menstrual period a slight outflow of secretion may occur, provoked by the increased functionality of the hormonal system. So, whitish or transparent drops appear in women who have not given birth so far on the eve of menstruation. The reason sometimes becomes hormonal drugs.
The norm is prolonged discharge upon completion of natural feeding. The discomfort will pass by itself, if you do not subject the areola of the nipples to constant irritation. Also, transparent or whitish discharge from the mammary glands can appear in early pregnancy, when the woman herself does not yet know about conception.
In the case of a secret with an unpleasant smell, an uncharacteristic shade and texture, it is necessary to conduct an urgent examination.
What causes discomfort?
The reason for discharge from the chest before menstruation may be several pathologies:
- ectasia of the milk ducts,
- intraductal papilloma,
- hormonal imbalance
- breast cancer.
To prevent the progression of pathology, each disease should be considered separately.
Pathology is caused by a disturbance in the production of hormones, the cause of which may be a disease of the organs of the reproductive or endocrine system. As a rule, discharge before menstruation in this case is accompanied by painful sensations.
Often, hormonal imbalance becomes the cause of mastopathy. Treatment is prescribed depending on the cause of the failure in the production of hormones.
This is a mobile benign tumor, resulting from the increased activity of sex hormones. Liquid may appear before menstruation or in the second half of the cycle. Color drops - from transparent to yellowish-green.
Women over the age of 30 suffer from the disease. If necessary, the tumor can be surgically removed. If the disease is accompanied by severe pain, prescribe sedatives or painkillers.
Even severe chest contusion can cause injury to the glands and the appearance of characteristic discharge. In the presence of hematoma is not excluded the development of the inflammatory process. Sometimes you have to contact the surgeons to get rid of the effects of the injury.
Malignant oncology is the most terrible disease a woman can face. One of the symptoms of Paget's cancer that affects the nipple is the release of fluid mixed with blood. Symptoms include flaking of the skin in the areola area, nipple deformity, itching.
Currently, many methods have been developed for the effective diagnosis of breast cancer at an early stage. Surgical treatment does not put an end to the patient's personal life, since with the help of plastics it is possible to restore the breast, giving it a rather attractive shape.
With the appearance of discharge from the nipple, it is necessary to find the cause of the phenomenon in order not to regret the lost time. Modern medicine perfectly copes with the diseases listed above, especially with their early detection.