Galactorrhea is the secretion of breast milk in men, or in women who are not breastfeeding an infant. Galactorrhea, or hyperlactation, however, is a rare condition that can occur in both men and women, where a white or grayish fluid is secreted by the nipples of both breasts. While this condition is not serious in itself, galactorrhea can indicate more serious conditions, including hormone imbalances or the presence of tumors.
Galactorrhea refers to the unilateral or bilateral secretion of milk outside the lactation period. This occurs during pregnancy and sometimes for a short time after weaning. In some cases bilateral galactorrhea is also observed during the use of oral contraceptives and psycho-tropic drugs, as well as in cause is functional hyperprolactinemia or pituitary adenoma Unilateral galactorrhea may be associated with intraductal carcinoma.
Treatment for galactorrhea will depend on the cause of the condition and the symptoms. The drug bromocriptine is often prescribed first to reduce the secretion of prolactin and to decrease the size of pituitary tumors. This drug will control galactorrhea symptoms and in many cases may be the only therapy necessary. Radiation therapy has also been used to reduce tumor size when surgery is not possible or not totally successful.
Galactorrhea causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The incidence and Prevalence of this disease is varying among different populations. It is reported that, in Italy, Galactorrhea affects 4-20% women of the total population. This disease mainly affects the age group of 24-48 years.