What happens if you don't treat a clogged duct?

Clogged ducts are also common during weaning. By forming lumps in the breast, blockages cause localized pain and can make it difficult to breastfeed and express milk. They can also lead to more serious health complications, including mastitis. Left untreated, a blocked duct can cause mastitis (inflammation and sometimes infection of the breast).

So what would cause an obstruction of the galactophore ducts to form? “A blocked galactophoric duct occurs when milk accumulates inside, which can make pumping and breastfeeding extremely painful,” explains Leigh Anne O'Connor of IBCLC, a certified lactation consultant in New York. If the blocked galactophore duct doesn't resolve quickly, it can lead to more serious problems, such as inflammation (a condition known as mastitis) and a total interruption of milk production, which in turn can lead to infection. If you let the blocked galactophore duct go untreated, it can develop into mastitis very quickly, sometimes within hours. Mastitis can also occur if bacteria enter the galactophoric duct through a crack in the nipple due to poor retention or pumping, which can lead to infection.

So how can you tell the difference between a blocked duct and mastitis? Usually, symptoms of galactophore duct obstruction are located in the area around the lump, which is usually red. You may not feel any pain, but if you do, it will focus around the lump. In the case of mastitis, the entire breast is likely to feel tender and sore and even burn. You may have one or more lumps, which will feel warm or warm to the touch.

Many mothers also have flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, chills, and fever. Don't underestimate the severity of mastitis. If you think you may be suffering from mastitis, contact your doctor right away. Although you don't need to see a healthcare professional if you have symptoms of galactophore duct obstruction, O'Connor recommends seeing your family doctor if you have symptoms of mastitis, as the infection may need to be treated with an antibiotic.

A blocked galactophore duct (sometimes called an obstructed galactophore duct) is an obstruction of one or more ducts that carry milk to the breast's nipple. Duct obstruction occurs when the flow of milk is obstructed, causing pressure to build up behind the duct and irritate surrounding tissue.

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