Sex & Relationships

Breasts may leak during sex thanks to hormones.

Here’s Why Your Breasts May Leak During Sex

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You can just blame those pesky hormones.

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Anyone who has spent some physical time between the sheets knows sex isn’t the cleanest activity. Between the saliva, arousal sweat, and cum, a post-coitous towel down is almost required. But as messy as it may be, people rarely complain about the fluid that accompanies a quality shag. That is, until it’s leaking from your breast. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’ve had a baby, are expecting, or simply have boobs, there is a chance your breasts will leak during sex.

Dr. Idries Abdur-Rahman, OB-GYN, tells Romper that he mentions to his patients that “breasts are machines and serve one primary purpose — to produce milk.” And oxytocin is to blame for them leaking, because it’s responsible for a lot of things that happen in the human body — especially during pregnancy. So if you find your breasts are a bit leaky while you’re romping around with your partner, don’t panic. There’s nothing to worry about — it’s just what happens when the oxytocin hormone gets involved. And don’t get embarrassed either. It’s a totally normal thing that happens with the human body, and shouldn’t be treated as anything else.

(Also, don’t panic about what this means for breastfeeding or your baby or anything else. It’s literally all to blame from a hormone.) Here’s what to know about your leaky breasts during sex, and what it all means.

1

Leaky Breasts When You’re Pregnant

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Remember that hormone talk? Totally blame it. “Oxytocin is also the primary hormone involved in breastfeeding, because it causes contractions in the muscle cells that surround the milk glands, forcing the release of milk,” Abdur-Rahman says. “Oxytocin is also called the love hormone because it is released in abundance during sex and orgasm, which stimulates closer bonding.”

But, that hormone also doesn’t know why it’s being released. So when it releases during sex, it can stimulate the release of breast milk or colostrum.

2

Leaky Breasts When You’re Not Pregnant

What if you’re no longer pregnant and are no longer breastfeeding your baby? What would cause leakage then? “Women who are not pregnant can still experience leakage from the breasts. If they’ve breastfed in the past, they can still experience intermittent lactation even after weaning their baby,” Abdur-Rahman says. Even after weaning, it can take up to six months for your breasts to stop lactating.

3

When Leaky Breasts May Be A Health Issue

“Anytime a woman experiences leakage from the breasts not related to pregnancy or breastfeeding, it should be further evaluated,” says Abdur-Rahman. While not common, leakage from the breasts can also be indicative of a medical issue, he says. “The most common is a condition called a prolactinoma.”

This is a benign tumor in your pituitary gland, which is the part of the brain where the hormone prolactin is produced. Leaking boobs in this instance would make sense, since prolactin is the hormone that stimulates the production of breast milk.

If you have a tumor in the pituitary gland, it can cause women to produce breast milk unrelated to pregnancy or postpartum. In addition to prolactinomas, certain tumors of the breast can cause nipple discharge, so be sure to get checked out if this is happening, Abdur-Rahman says.

Another condition you could be suffering from is galactorrhea, which Mayo Clinic noted often occurs when breast tissue becomes incredibly sensitive to prolactin, the hormone responsible for producing breast milk, but can also be the result of the overstimulation of breasts during sex. Thanks a lot, boob play!

Galactorrhea affects 20 to 25% of women in the United States, reported American Family Physician. Yet despite the frequency, doctors have yet to find a cure.

4

How To Handle Leaky Boobs

“Unfortunately, the best way to address leakage from the breasts is tincture of time and reduced breast stimulation,” Abdur-Rahman says.

So sorry to anyone who really enjoys boob play as part of sex. Abdur-Rahman says that when you’re pregnant and actively breastfeeding, however, there’s nothing you can do to stop leakage during sex. “I advise all of my patients to wear a bra with nursing pads or to just incorporate the leakage into foreplay and the act of intercourse — hey, breast milk can provide health benefits to adults as well.”

But after weaning, you should also minimize breast stimulation, as stimulation just leads to more milk production. “This means wearing a well-fitted bra, reducing touching of the breasts, and minimizing water stimulation of the breasts when showering,” Abdur-Rahman says.

Speaking of showering, another way you can try to stay clean from leaking breast milk when having sex is to have sex in the shower. Fluids will be way less noticeable that way. You can also try nursing or pumping before sex, or simply keeping a towel close by to wipe off.

Expert:

Dr. Idries Abdur-Rahman, OB-GYN, author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pregnancy (But Were Too Afraid or Embarrassed to Ask) and one half of the Twin Doctors for TwinDoctorsTV.