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Galactorrhea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

21/03/15 09:27

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Galactorrhea (also spelled

galactorrhoea) (galacto- + -rrhea) or
lactorrhea (lacto- + -rrhea) is the
spontaneous flow of milk from the
breast, unassociated with childbirth
or nursing.
Galactorrhea is reported to occur in
5%-32% percent of women. Much of
the difference in reported incidence
can be attributed to different
definitions of galactorrhea.[1]
Although frequently benign, it may
be caused by serious underlying
conditions and should be properly
investigated.[2] Galactorrhea also

Classification and external resources



611.6 (,
676.6 (

DiseasesDB 6314 (

Patient UK Galactorrhea (

D005687 (

occurs in males, newborn infants and adolescents of both sexes.[3]

1 Causes
2 Neonatal milk
3 See also
4 References
5 External links

It can be due to dysregulation of certain hormones or local causes such as excessive nipple stimulation.
Hormonal causes most frequently associated with galactorrhea are hyperprolactinemia and thyroid conditions
with elevated levels of TSH or TRH hormones. No obvious cause is found in about 50% of cases.[1]
Lactation requires the presence of estrogen, progesterone and prolactin, and the evaluation of galactorrhea
includes eliciting a history for various medications or foods (methyldopa, opiates, antipsychotics, serotonin
reuptake inhibitors, as well as licorice[4]) and for behavioral causes (stress, and breast and chest wall
stimulation), as well as evaluation for pregnancy, pituitary adenomas (with overproduction of prolactin or

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Galactorrhea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

21/03/15 09:27

compression of the pituitary stalk), and hypothyroidism. Adenomas of the anterior pituitary are most often
prolactinomas. Overproduction of prolactin leads to cessation of menstrual periods and infertility, which may be
a diagnostic clue. Galactorrhea may also be caused by hormonal imbalances owing to birth control pills.
Galactorrhea is also a side effect associated with the use of the second-generation H2 receptor antagonist
Cimetidine (trade name: Tagamet). Galactorrhea can also be caused by anti-psychotics that cause
hyperprolactinemia by blocking dopamine receptors responsible for control of prolactin release. Of these,
risperidone is the most notorious for causing this complication. Case reports suggest proton-pump inhibitors
have been shown to cause Galactorrhea.

Neonatal milk
Neonatal milk or witch's milk is milk secreted from the breasts of many newborn infants. It is considered a
normal variation and no treatment or testing is necessary. In folklore, witch's milk was believed to be a source
of nourishment for witches' familiar spirits.[5]

See also
Galactagogue, a substance that promotes lactation in humans and animals

1. Sakiyama, R.; Quan, M. (1983). "Galactorrhea and hyperprolactinemia". Obstetrical & gynecological survey 38 (12):
689700. PMID 6361641 (
2. Whitman-Elia, G. F.; Windham, N. Q. (2000). "Galactorrhea may be clue to serious problems. Patients deserve a
thorough workup". Postgraduate Medicine 107 (7): 165168, 171. doi:10.3810/pgm.2000.06.1129
( PMID 10887453 (
3. Rohn, R. D. (1984). "Galactorrhea in the adolescent". Journal of adolescent health care : official publication of the
Society for Adolescent Medicine 5 (1): 3749. PMID 6420385 (
4. Karimi, H; Nourizad, S; Momeni, M; Rahbar, H; Momeni, M; Farhadi, K (2013). "Burns, hypertrophic scar and
galactorrhea" ( Journal of injury & violence research 5 (2):
1179. doi:10.5249/jivr.v5i2.314 ( PMC 3683415
( PMID 23456048
5. Potts, Malcolm (1999). Ever Since Adam and Eve: The Evolution of Human Sexuality. p. 145. ISBN 0-521-64404-6.

External links

Look up galactorrhea in
Wiktionary, the free

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Galactorrhea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

21/03/15 09:27

( has a good

overview of galactorrhea.
MR images ( Galactorrhea
and Pituitary tumors (microadenoma)
Retrieved from ""
Categories: Breast milk Infancy Witchcraft Breast diseases
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