Is there discharge coming out of your nipples?
“All ducts in the breast coalesce into the nipple, which is why women can breastfeed,” DiNome tells SELF, but for that same reason, women who are not breastfeeding can also have nipple discharge. “Most of the time it is physiologic, meaning it’s a result of normal processes,” DiNome explains.
In up to 20 percent of women of reproductive age, having their breasts squeezed can elicit nip spillage. According to the National Institutes of Health, it can even happen from your bra or t-shirt rubbing against your boobs.
However, Gaither tells SELF “for any women who aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding, nipple discharge can be concerning… and it’s best to see your health provider” if you notice discharge of any type. (It can be clear or milky, yellowish, greenish or brownish.)
If it's coming out of both breasts, or happens when you squeeze the nipple, it's more likely to be due to something benign (figuratively and literally, as in, noncancerous), like certain medications or herbs, such as fennel, injury, inflammation clogging the breast ducts, or infection.
In some cases, discharge can signal thyroid disease, or be a sign of breast cancer. If the discharge is painful, bloody or green in hue, head to the doctor ASAP, Gaither suggests.