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Galactorrhea often results from having too much prolactin — the hormone responsible for milk production when you have a baby. Prolactin is produced by your pituitary gland, a small bean-shaped gland at the base of your brain that secretes and regulates several hormones.

Possible causes of galactorrhea include:

  • Medications, such as certain sedatives, antidepressants, antipsychotics and high blood pressure drugs
  • Opioid use
  • Herbal supplements, such as fennel, anise or fenugreek seed
  • Birth control pills
  • A noncancerous pituitary tumor (prolactinoma) or other disorder of the pituitary gland
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Excessive breast stimulation, which may be associated with sexual activity, frequent breast self-exams with nipple manipulation or prolonged clothing friction
  • Nerve damage to the chest wall from chest surgery, burns or other chest injuries
  • Spinal cord surgery, injury or tumors
  • Stress

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