Nipple Discharge: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Fluid leaking from one or both nipples when you are not breastfeeding is called nipple discharge. Clear, cloudy, or white discharge that appears only when you press on your nipple is usually normal. The more the nipple is pressed or stimulated, the more fluid appears. Yellow, green, or brown discharge is not normal and may be a symptom of an infection or other problem.

Spontaneous discharge appears without pressing or stimulating the nipple. This is not normal unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It may be a side effect of a medicine, or it may be caused by other health problems. The treatment of spontaneous nipple discharge depends on what is causing it. You may need additional tests to find out what is causing the nipple discharge.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor gave you medicine, take it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Wear a supportive bra, such as a sports bra or jog bra.
  • Avoid stimulating your breast until you have your follow-up appointment.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have symptoms of a breast infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, redness, or warmth around a breast.
    • Red streaks extending from the breast.
    • Pus draining from a breast.
    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You notice any changes in your breast or discharge.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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Current as of: May 27, 2016