Bloody Nipple Discharge

What is Bloody Nipple Discharge?

Nipple discharge is the leakage of fluid from one or both the nipples. Post-pregnancy, it normally happens, due to lactation. However, when nipple discharge has blood in it or is unusual, it is a cause of concern and should be examined by a general practitioner. Discharge from one nipple can be caused by issues with that particular breast.

Discharge from both the nipples is most likely the result of medications or an endocrine gland problem, and should be investigated.


The symptoms of this disease include:

  • Bloody or coloured discharge
  • Discharge comes from only one breast
  • Discharge without compression/squeezing


Causes of this condition could include:

  • Pressure on the nipples from a tight bra.
  • Inflammation of the breast ducts.
  • Injury to the breast.
  • Small growth in the breast that is usually not cancer.
  • Non-cancerous breast tumours.
  • Severe hypothyroidism.
  • Widening of the milk ducts.


Nipple discharge is one of the most common breast complaints. Approximately 50% to 80% of women face this problem in their reproductive years. It can leak one or more drops of fluid. This could be a symptom of breast cancer


The following can be done to prevent nipple discharges:

  • Avoid cracking of the nipples.
  • Avoid use of tobacco products and quit smoking.
  • Lose weight.
  • Clean the breast and nipple regularly

How is it diagnosed?

The healthcare provider will first determine if the discharge is from a single breast or both. Nipple discharge from both is nearly always benign, and is likely due to changes such as ectasia.


How is it treated?

While diagnosis of the cause of nipple discharge, our doctor will recommend the following ways to manage it:


When do I contact the doctor?

One should immediately contact a doctor, if they begin to face symptoms such as infection, inflammation in the breast ducts, and bloody discharge. 

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