When I squeeze my left breast, there is discharge that is the color of honey. It’s painful and sticky. I’m currently on my period. What could this be?

Great question! Sometimes nipple discharge can get a bad rap, but it doesn’t always mean something is wrong. Young women can experience nipple discharge, even if they are not pregnant or breast feeding. It may be a normal symptom of menstruation (period) as this is a time with many hormonal changes.

However, nipple discharge does give good insight into your breasts’ and your overall health. If you are you experiencing breast discharge, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your HCP. They will ask you questions about the amount, the color, and the texture of the discharge. They will likely also ask if it comes out of one breast or both, if it leaks out or if it only comes out when squeezed, and if you have any overlying skin changes. Medications can also cause discharge, so it’s important to bring a list of medications you take, including over the counter and herbal medicines. Breast manipulation, including squeezing breasts, can also lead to discharge so it’s important to try and avoid this as well.

For most young people, breast discharge is benign, meaning it is not dangerous, but it’s still important to talk to your HCP to determine the cause.