Montgomery Tubercles


If you are trying to become pregnant, it’s natural for you to be looking for early pregnancy signs.

One of the first signs of pregnancy is the presence of Montgomery tubercles. These could be a sign that you are really pregnant, but it could also be something entirely different. You need to understand just what Montgomery tubercles are.

What are Montgomery Tubercles?

Montgomery glands are also known as Areolar glands. They are the central sebaceous glands found in the areola of the breast. Their main job is the production of oily secretions, much like sebaceous glands on your scalp do. They keep the nipple and areola lubricated and protected.

Montgomery tubercles are this type of gland, and their job is to keep the breast well-lubricated while you are breastfeeding. They work not only to keep your breast lubricated, but also to protect your baby from infection. On the skin, they look like little bumps, which may appear on the nipple and areola alike.

Pregnancy and its Changes in your Body

Pregnancy causes your body to go through many changes. Your breasts experience changes, too. Montgomery tubercles may vary in count from just a few up to 30 or so. The number of these bumps varies from one breast to another and even from one pregnancy to another. They are actually modified sweat glands, serving to lubricate your areola in pregnancy and then in lactation.

To care for the tubercles, rinse your breasts with clean water and don’t use oils or soaps that could irritate the tissue, especially when you’re breastfeeding.

Are Montgomery Tubercles always an Early Sign of Pregnancy?

While many women state that these glands were their first sign of pregnancy, this is not always the case. You may experience them before your first missed period, but you may experience them later in pregnancy, too.

The areolas may darken with this condition. These types of changes begin to occur as the breasts prepare to produce milk, and this happens in the first several weeks of your pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, your areolas may also become larger.

What else may cause Montgomery Tubercles?

While these tubercles are often symptomatic of pregnancy, you can also develop bumps on the areola from other influences.
In some other cases, Montgomery tubercles may be caused by:

• Physical changes – This includes changes during pregnancy, but they can also be brought on by other physical changes of your body.

• Stress – Your body reacts to stress and anxiety in a number of ways. It is possible to develop these bumps on your areolas if you have unmanaged stress or worry.

• A hormonal imbalance – Especially during pregnancy, the hormones in your body are often in a state of change. But you may also have unbalanced hormones at other times, not related to pregnancy.

Remember that these sebaceous glands are a fully normal part of the breast, and they will be there forever. They may appear more pronounced due to pregnancy, other reasons, or even for no reason.

When you see Montgomery tubercles, if you are trying to become pregnant, that may very well be the cause. If you are also experiencing other signs of pregnancy, this likely is just one more. Think about taking a home pregnancy test. Regardless of the result, you may feel less worry if you make an appointment with your physician. If you are pregnant, you will want to start prenatal care soon.

If your Montgomery tubercles are prominent, and you see a discharge from them, also contact your physician. This could be indicative that the tubercles are the result of a different problem.

The size of your tubercles may sometimes increase, whether you are pregnant or not. The ducts can become blocked by dead skin cells, much as acne develops on the face.

If your physician indicates that your Montgomery tubercles are a result of clogged pores, use a mild type of cleanser or a very mild type of acne cleanser, like Neutrogena wash, Aveeno acne bar or a 5% benzoyl peroxide bar. These are all available without a prescription.

Clean the area twice a week if you have clogged ducts. Use a gentle exfoliating product. Moisturize the areoles with creams that contain aloe Vera. Check on the products for labels reading “Non-comedogenic”. This means that they will not clog your pores further.

If the tubercles are caused by blocked glands, they should decrease in size in about four weeks of mild treatments.

Dealing with Montgomery Tubercles

Your physician will be able to explain the reason for the development of tubercles from the normal sebaceous glands in your breasts. They won’t even interfere with breast-feeding.

Don’t try to pop Montgomery tubercles. This could make them more painful or even cause an infection. They don’t need to be popped. If you leave them alone, they will usually disappear when they are no longer needed. If you have questions, speak with your physician to appease your worries.


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