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Lactation Without Pregnancy: How Is It Possible?

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It is natural to lactate during pregnancy and childbirth. But is there a possibility to lactate without undergoing the pregnancy phase?

Lactation occurs when the hormones activate the mammary glands which produce milk. The objective of milk production is to nourish a new born.

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But what if lactation occurs when the women has never been pregnant? Here are some facts.

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Fact #1

A condition known as galactorrhea can cause lactation. A small percentage of women undergo this condition.

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Fact #2

Galactorrhea is a condition that can effect even men too. Its main symptom is excessive milk production. In some cases, milk starts leaking from the nipples.

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Fact #3

Other symptoms of galactorrhea include headaches, acne, enlarged breast tissue, irregular periods, nausea and low libido.

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Fact #4

Galactorrhea can be caused due to hormonal issues side effects of medication, certain health conditions, tumours and even excessive stimulation of the nipples too.

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Fact #5

Medical conditions that can cause galactorrhea are high estrogen levels, damage in breast tissues, stress, liver or kidney issues and thyroid issues.

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Even certain drugs like cocaine, opiates and marijuana can cause lactation in some. A doctor can diagnose the issue and also suggest a treatment option.

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Fact #6

Here is another scenario in which a woman would want to lactate without pregnancy. Suppose if one adopts an infant and would like to breastfeed, they may explore such an option of lactating without being pregnant.

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Fact #7

Hormone therapy and stimulation of the nipples are some ways to induce lactation. Women who wish to lactate without pregnancy generally choose hormone therapy.

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They can stop the therapy after the breastfeeding stage. In some cases, even a breastfeeding pump is also used under the supervision of a gynecologist.

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Fact #8

Those who wish to lactate without pregnancy may need to also consider certain side effects. Breasts may become sensitive, painful and tender during lactation.

They may also grow in size and may cause some inconvenience. Some women may also suffer breast infection, soreness and other side effects after artificially stimulating the lactation. So, it is better to consider all factors and discuss everything with a doctor before choosing such options.

Read more about: pregnancy parenting baby kid
Story first published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017, 14:05 [IST]
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