Q: My 12-year-old daughter is starting to develop. She came to me, quite scared, when she noticed a discharge from one nipple. Is this something we should be worried about?
A: It is not unusual for adolescent girls to develop occasional discharge from the breast. It happens as the ovaries release estrogen and other hormones that cause the breasts to grow. Clear or white discharge is generally not a cause for major concern. Yellow, brown, or green discharge can be a sign of infection or other problem. In either situation, your daughter should be evaluated by her physician to determine the cause of the discharge and if treatment is needed. Assure your daughter that the changes in her body should not be worrisome and that she was smart in coming to you with her concerns. Encourage her to talk with her doctor as well.
Lisa Smith, MD, FACS
USA Pediatric Surgeon
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