Agalactia is the absence of secretion of breast milk in the postpartum period. The early development of the child completely depends on the success of the treatment of this disorder: with all the variety of mixtures for artificial feeding, mother’s milk is indispensable.

Table of contents:

  1. Agalactia or lack of breast milk: what is it
  2. Reasons
  3. The development of pathology
  4. Symptoms of agalactia after childbirth
  5. Diagnostics
  6. Differential diagnosis
  7. Complications
  8. Treatment in the absence of breast milk
  9. Prevention
  10. Forecast

Agalactia or the absence of breast milk: what is it.

Current trends in obstetrics are such that the number of women with a deficiency of breast milk of varying severity increases due to the presence of various factors. But its complete absence is detected only in three women out of a hundred, in which a violation of the secretion of breast milk of various severity was detected.

As a rule, women who gave birth for the first time and those who had their first birth after 40 years of life suffer from agalactia.

The reason for the lack of secretion of breast milk depends on the type of agalactia.

The primary form of pathology (it is also called absolute) arises for such reasons as:

  • the embryonic state of the glandular tissue of the mammary glands or its complete absence;
  • hormonal disorders.
    The development of the glandular tissue of the mammary glands is disrupted as a result of a failure of the fetal development. In this case, the woman determines other signs of developmental disability – in particular, sexual.

The main causes of secondary (relative) agalactia are most often the following factors:

  • physical factors;
  • chemical factors;
  • inflammatory and infectious inflammatory pathologies;
  • specific type of nutrition;
  • psychoemotional factors.

Of the physical factors, the cause of agalactia can be:

  • radiation exposure;
  • stay in conditions of too high or too low temperatures.

Of the chemical factors, certain drugs are the most significant. Usually this:

  • some immunosuppressants – drugs that inhibit
  • the immune system;
  • certain hormonal agents – in particular, calcitonin;
  • antiepileptic drugs.

Why inflammatory and infectious inflammatory pathologies can lead to the occurrence of agalactia? They lead to an increase in body temperature, which quite often is the immediate (often the only) cause of agalactia.

As for the specific type of nutrition, the absence of breast milk synthesis leads to:

  • the use of insufficient amounts of fluid per day;
  • low-calorie food intake – in particular, of plant origin.
    Also often, according to women in childbirth, their “milk disappears” due to stress – often even elementary experiences about the condition of the born child, his development, stool, crying and so on.


Two main factors of the lack of synthesis of breast milk were identified:

  • lack of normal glandular tissue that would produce it;
  • violation of hormonal regulation of breast milk production.
    Often, such mechanisms develop simultaneously.

Symptoms of postpartum agalactia.

An immediate sign of the described disease is the absence of milk secretion from the ducts of the mammary glands. It may be absent temporarily or permanently.

At the same time, milk is not excreted both when the baby is sucking on the mother’s breast, and when squeezing it in an attempt to squeeze the milk mechanically.

With primary agalactia, the absence of milk is constant, with secondary milk, it can first be released, and then its release stops abruptly.

The diagnosis of agalactia is not difficult to make according to the complaints of the woman in labor and according to the results of her physical examination (palpation of the mammary glands in order to squeeze the milk out of the milk ducts). But more important is the identification of factors that led to the emergence of this pathological condition. For this, in addition to clarifying complaints, a medical history (development history) of the pathology is collected and additional research methods are prescribed.
From the anamnesis find out the following:

  • whether the woman was ill with any inflammatory or
  • infectious and inflammatory pathologies;
  • whether she was exposed to pathological factors – physical, chemical;
  • Did the woman have stress.

From instrumental methods are assigned:

  • ultrasound examination of the mammary glands (ultrasound) – it allows you to assess the degree of development of glandular tissues;
  • X-ray of the skull – with its help identify volumetric processes that can affect the pituitary gland that produces prolactin, on the presence of which the production of breast milk depends;
  • a blood test to determine the amount of prolactin.

Differential (distinctive) diagnostics is primarily carried out between primary and secondary agalactia.

A consequence of agalactia can be a trauma to the mammary gland. This happens for reasons such as:

  • attempts to express non-existent milk;
  • applying to the breast of the baby in the hope that sucking stimulates the release of breast milk.

Non-drug prescriptions are:

  • diet therapy. It is based on the use of high-calorie dishes and a sufficient amount of liquid;
  • physiotherapeutic treatment – UFO, electrophoresis with nicotinic acid are effective.

For drug treatment are used:

  • drugs that stimulate milk synthesis – vitamins E and group B, lactin;
  • with infectious damage – antibacterial drugs (their choice depends on the results of bacteriological studies with the determination of the sensitivity of the pathogen to antibiotics);
  • under stress – sedatives (usually of plant origin – based on valerian, mint, motherwort and so on);
  • with hyperthermia – antipyretic (Panadol).

These are basic drugs – prescriptions are expanded depending on the pathology against which agalactia occurred.

The main methods of preventing agalactia are:

  • prevention, detection and treatment of hormonal disorders, inflammatory and infectious inflammatory
  • pathologies;
  • avoidance of radiation exposure and exposure to too high or too low temperatures;
  • the abolition or replacement of medicines that may lead to the occurrence of agalactia;
  • the use of a sufficient amount of fluid per day;
  • intake of high-calorie food;
  • avoidance of stress.

The prognosis for agalactia is different: in the absence of glandular tissue of the mammary gland, it is not possible to cause secretion of breast milk, with the secondary form, the correct treatment can lead to the elimination of agalactia.

The older the woman, the more difficult it is to resume lactation.