Is it normal for breasts to leak during menopause?
During menopause, the body goes through a number of physical changes due to the imbalance of hormones. A drop in estrogen hormones can affect the breasts. The size, firmness, and shape of the breasts usually change during menopause due to an increase in the amount of fat in the breasts. The nipples may change as well, becoming less erect and smaller, and may even become less sensitive and not as easily stimulated. Estrogen therapy can help restore the fullness.
Leaking breasts can be caused by a number of factors. Typically, it is not a symptom of menopause but this doesn't mean that it isn't likely. Sometimes an off-colored discharge occurs in the breasts of women who are nearing or in the beginning stages of menopause. As long as there is not a lump on the breast or other symptoms associated with the discharge, it is probably normal.
It's not uncommon for breasts to leak even when a woman is not breastfeeding. Leaking breasts, also known as galactorrhea, can be caused by a hormonal imbalance. Since the levels of hormones are greatly disrupted during menopause, it is possible that leaking breasts could be a symptom of this stage. You also want to pay attention to the color of the breast discharge. If there is any blood in the leakage you should see your doctor immediately because this could signal a more serious problem.
Typically, galactorrhea produces a milk-like, white fluid from the breasts and the fluid can discharge with or without stimulation. There are other reasons why the breasts may be leaking:
· Medicines - hormones, blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, etc.
· Clothing - irritating or scratchy fabrics.
· Stimulation - during sexual activity.
· Tumors (which are usually benign)
· Herbs - such as fennel and anise.
Usually there is no treatment for this, and the breasts will just stop leaking on their own over time. However, it may still be important to see your doctor, especially if you feel concerned. Some doctors recommend a check up for any kind of nipple discharge – it is always best to safe, rather than sorry.