What Does Nipple Discharge or Fluid from Breast Indicate?

One or both breasts may produce a nipple discharge or fluid from breast, either spontaneously or in case you squeeze your breasts or nipples. A nipple discharge may look milky, or it may be clear, green, yellow, brown or bloody. Non-milk discharge comes out of your breast via the same openings from the nipple that carries milk.

Nipple discharge or fluid from breast in non-pregnant women or in women who are not breast-feeding, may usually not be normal and requires an evaluation by the doctor. Nipple discharge or fluid from breast in men could be a problem and needs immediate diagnosis and treatment.

What Does Nipple Discharge or Fluid From Breast Indicate?

What Does Nipple Discharge or Fluid From Breast Indicate?

Let us know as to what could be causing the nipple discharge or fluid from breast:

  1. Fluid From Breast Is Common With Pregnancy:

    Nipple discharge or fluid from breast is common and normal for pregnant women or the nursing mothers. It may also be associated with menstrual hormone changes and fibrocystic changes. Usually the milky discharge after breast feeding will affect both breasts and can continue for up to 2 or 3 years after stopping breastfeeding.

  2. Mammary Duct Ectasia:

    Thick or sticky green or black fluid nipple discharge or fluid from breast is usually because of mammary duct ectasia or a problem that is usually common in women in their 40s and their 50s. This is an inflammation of one or more milk ducts, just like an internal pimple. Though it often is not, however it may be at times painful. It is essential for you to check with your doctor and take prescribed antibiotics and medications.

  3. Galactorrhea:

    Sometimes white, yellow, light green or a clear nipple discharge or fluid from breast may be a sign of a hormonal imbalance known as Galactorrhea. It is a danger sign for breast disease as it might indicate a problem elsewhere in your body, like an underactive thyroid or even a pituitary disorder. So, it is required that you should check about the condition with your doctor.

  4. Breast Abscesses:

    A white discharge from your nipples or white fluid from breast may also be because of an abscess caused due to bacteria which can enter the breast via a cracked nipple. In such a condition, even pus may ooze out from the breasts and they may also become swollen and inflamed. Visit a doctor if your breast looks infected.

  5. Duct Papilloma:

    The cause for nipple discharge or fluid from breast is most likely a Duct papilloma, if the fluid from breast is bloodstained and if it comes out from a single breast.

    It is usually harmless and a wart-like growth of about 1-2 cm in size and found inside one of the breast ducts. The papilloma is mostly just behind the nipple and can cause fluid or blood to come out of the nipple.

    Though the fluid discharge here may be alarming, be assured that papilloma is not cancer and can only very rarely turn to cancer. However, be sure that you visit your doctor if you experience this condition.

  6. Fibrocystic Disease:

    If you have a clear, light green or yellow nipple discharge or fluid from breast then it may also indicate fibrocystic change or fibrocystic disease. In fact about half of all women experience this condition at some part of their lives. This condition is characterized by tenderness and lumps in breast.

    Women with fibrocystic disease often require to undergo biopsies and most of them are benign.

    Fluid From Breast May Indicate An Early Sign Of Breast Cancer

  7. Fluid From Breast May Indicate An Early Sign Of Breast Cancer:

    Now, this is going to be serious! Blood discharge coming out from nipples must be a signal of cancer. It would be a cancer symptom if it occurred only in one breast and not in both.

    It is mostly that discharge which comes out without squeezing your breast is associated with malignancy.


You must pay attention to certain things if you have fluid coming out from your breasts. You need to check if they ooze on their own or only when you squeeze them. Sometimes it is good to leave your beasts alone for relieving nipple discharge. 

However if you are worried about breast cancer and nipple discharge is your only symptom, and unless it is a bloody discharge then you must stop panicking. However, you must talk to an expert medical professional in case you find something unusual.

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 8, 2018

Recent Posts

Related Posts