Is it possible for a woman to lactate when she is not pregnant? About 20 to 25 perecent of women experience lactation without pregnancy or breastfeeding a baby and there are reasons for this.
Lactation is the process of producing breast milk, for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, lactation is normal, however, lactation when one is not pregnant or breastfeeding is known as Galactorrhea.
Galactorrhea is a condition that can happen to both men and women but it is most common in women. This condition has a wide variety of causes that can be difficult to pinpoint.
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It could be triggered by hormone imbalances, medication side effects and breast stimulation during sexual activity or frequent breast self-exams.
According to Healthline, some medications such as antidepressants, birth control and blood pressure medicines may cause galactorrhea. Some medical conditions such as thyroid issues, kidney disease, liver disease and tumors can also cause galactorrhea.
How do you know when you have galactorrhea? Here are a list of symptoms of Galactorrhea below:
- Producing excessive milk in one or both nipples
- Enlargement of breast tissue
- Missed or irregular periods
- Loss of or lowered sex drive
- Abnormal hair growth
How to treat galactorrhea
For galactorrhea there are several ways to treat it depending on the cause. For example, if galactorrhea was caused nipple stimulation during sexual activities, the patient would have to reduce breast stimulation.
If it was caused by a medication, then your doctor would have to supervise and change that medication or prescribe one that would help regulate hormones.
According to Kevin Audlin a doctor at the Institute for Gynecologic Care at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, it would take months for the lactation to stop even after the cause has been detection and worked on.
However, if the cause is a tumor or issues with the pituitary gland, it’s possible that the patient would need surgery and doctors would likely do more tests to be sure.