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Lactation during Menstruation
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sportwoo posted:
Okay...the facts:

I am 20 years old. Around the age of 14, I started lactating. I was not sexually active, nor very much of a breast-stimulator. I lactate only while on my period The fluid was (and is) milky. Six years later, I am still lactating. They "leak" on their own I "leak" fairly steadily for about 7 days I can cause greater flow by stimulating my nipples/breasts I started birth control 1.5 years ago. I am sexually active There is considerably more stimulation going on now () But I do not lactate from stimulation--only during my period My mom says I'm just a "born midwife" and that it's God's way of saying "even though I gave you tiny boobs, they still work."

I'm concerned there may be something more to it. I'm familiar with galactorrhea, and possible causes (a plethora) and I'm wondering if some of the facts (that it only occurs during my period and that I began at an early age) could point to a specific cause or rule out any causes (such as pituitary gland tumors, hopefully )

I know that "see your gyno" is a good response. But I've lived with the vague notion of galactorrhea for 6 years without bringing it up to my doc, so I think I need more direction to get me to be proactive.
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sportwoo responded:
Sorry it all ran together--I didn't realize that a list would become a paragraph. Here is something easier to digest:

Okay...the facts:

I am 20 years old. Around the age of 14, I started lactating. I was not sexually active, nor very much of a breast-stimulator.

I lactate only while on my period. The fluid is milky.

Six years later, I am still lactating. They "leak" on their own. I "leak" fairly steadily for about 7 days. I can cause greater flow by stimulating my nipples/breasts.

I started birth control 1.5 years ago. I am sexually active. There is considerably more stimulation going on now. But I do not lactate from stimulation--only during my period.

My mom says I'm just a "born midwife" and that it's God's way of saying "even though I gave you tiny boobs, they still work."

I'm concerned there may be something more to it. I'm familiar with galactorrhea, and possible causes (a plethora) and I'm wondering if some of the facts (that it only occurs during my period and that I began at an early age) could point to a specific cause or rule out any causes (such as pituitary gland tumors, hopefully )

I know that "see your gyno" is a good response. But I've lived with the vague notion of galactorrhea for 6 years without bringing it up to my doc, so I think I need more direction to get me to be proactive.
 
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sstrachan responded:
I have the EXACT same thing, i started producing breast milk during menstruration ONLY, when i was 17 and i am almost 21 now. it has increasingly gotten more disuptive but my endocrinologist has allowed me to stay on my birthcontrol (which regulates my hormones) for 4 months at a time and only have my period 3 times a year. if i am on my birthcontrol then i will not produce breast milk however once my period starts i swell up immediately. I had an MRI about a year after the symptoms started and there isn't a tumor. I've never heard of anyone else having this type of prolactin production before and neither has my doctor. It's nice to know that someone else out there knows what i go through and that I'm not the only one that has this condition (whatever condition it is).
 
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antigoneanarchy responded:
I'm 28 years old and I just started lactating during my last cycle. Now, is that normal?
 
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JessH128 replied to antigoneanarchy's response:
I am 36... For at least two years now I lactate during my cycle... I had a child 17 years ago, a miscarriage 12 years ago. Why do I now produce some kind of milky fluid, along with being very sensitive, during menstruation now?
 
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Jane Harrison Hohner, RN, RNP replied to JessH128's response:
Dear JessH: As sstrachan mentioned, most nipple discharge is related to elevated prolactin from the pituitary gland. Being on oral contraceptives can sometimes enhance "normal" breast discharge. Certain psychiatric medications—especially the antipsychotics —can initiate nipple discharge. Bilateral, spontaneous secretions can be prompted by a pituitary problem, or hypothyroidism. Both low thyroid and elevated prolactin (from the pituitary gland) can be checked for using simple blood tests.

In the specific case of nipple discharge which occurs just during menstruation I would really doubt low thyroid or a pituitary tumor. MULTIPLE literature searches at the National Library of Medicine site did not yield any citations on nipple discharge just during menses. Thus the following is my best GUESS. Right before menses both estrogen and progesterone levels fall. Some infants, exposed to normal, high levels of female hormones during gestation, will develop nipple discharge after delivery (hormone levels abruptly fall).

If any reader finds a study which gives a more "for sure" explanation, please post it for my, and future readers, edification.

Yours,
Jane


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