Montgomery Glands

What are Montgomery Glands?

Every human being has Montgomery glands. Montgomery glands are situated in areolas region especially the upper area. The appearance and numbers of Montgomery glands differ from one individual to another. Each areola of a woman may have an average of nine Montgomery glands.

Anatomy of the Breast

Breasts are located on the upper region of the woman’s body. It is used to produce milk to feed the baby in women. The women’s breasts comprise of glandular and fatty tissues.

Glandular tissues are responsible for producing milk. Glandular tissues consist of very many lobes, which are divided into lobules that produce milk. The fat tissue gives the breast it size and shape.

Appearance and Location

The flat brown part of a breast that surrounds the nipple is referred to as areola. This part is usually dark than other tissues of the breast. It outlines the area where mammary glands are located just underneath it. The mammary glands help in milk secretion that occurs through the nipples after passing through ducts and lobules.

So, Montgomery glands are located below the areola region. There are about five to twenty of these Montgomery glands. Whenever the glands are stimulated at time of breasting or otherwise, they tend to release some oily secretion. 8

Montgomery Glands Picture 1

Changes in During pregnancy

Pregnant women may begin to notice changes on their breasts; montgomery glands become larger or their numbers raises. You should not worry about this because it is not an illness. Normally, when you are pregnant, your breasts and nipples have to prepare for these changes to produce milk to facilitate breastfeeding of the baby after delivery.

Your Montgomery glands usually start growing bigger in the second trimester of pregnancy. During pregnancy, your alveoli , which are responsible for producing milk, grow bigger. During this period, your breast can grow 2 or 4 times their normal size and Montgomery glands also become bigger. Your areolas become dark as well as increases in size.


Montgomery glands in men are non-essential but in women, they perform the following purpose:

Protect the breasts against infections

Montgomery glands produce oily secretion that has antimicrobial properties. This helps prevent germs and bacteria from growing hence protecting your breasts from infections.

Act as a lubricating agent

Montgomery glands are responsible for producing oily secretions that help lubricate your areolas and nipples as well as protect them against infections.

Guides the baby to locate the breast

Montgomery glands play a crucial role during breastfeeding as they assist the baby find the breast. Normally, a baby uses the sense of smell to locate the breasts. The baby understands the amniotic fluid smell, which is similar to the oily secretion produced by your Montgomery glands. The baby therefore is able to pick up the scent and locate the breast. This allows the mother to start feeding immediately.

How to clean Montgomery Glands

As your Montgomery glands become bigger, you may see yellowish –white substance that looks like mucus on your areolas and nipples. You can keep your nipples and areolas clean by cleaning them using a clean towel in the bathroom or shower. Make sure you use the towel you have been using to avoid spread of infections.

Sometimes materials on those areas can be difficult to clean. Use olive oil, apply it on your nipples, and leave it for about 5 minutes. This will help to soften those materials so that you can easily remove them.


Sometimes, bumps may occur on the skin of the areolar region because of underlying conditions.

  • Being sexually arose or being exposed to cold suddenly may make the Montgomery glands to cause bumps.
  • Jogger’s nipple is a condition in which the Montgomery glands are irritated. It is named jogger’s nipple because it happens mainly in women who jog.
  • The constant friction occurring from sports bras and shirts create an irritation, which could result in bumps. In this condition, the nipples tend to be dry and sore, and at times, they may bleed. Applying lubricants can help reduce this friction.
  • Mastitis may occur when milk does not empty completely from the breast tissue thus attracting bacteria. The infection affects the mammary glands in breastfeeding women. It is quite painful and needs medical attention.


When your Montgomery glands are very big, one option is to remove them. You should consult your doctor or a health provider on this process. Your doctor should be able to determine if removal of your Montgomery glands is necessary. In most cases, only a few of these glands will be removed to avoid infections on your breasts when all the glands are removed.

Your doctor can remove your Montgomery glands through surgery. Your doctor will use a scalpel to make an incision into your breast, remove some of the glands, and sew up the area. This procedure is very short and usually takes a maximum of 30 minutes and therefore you will not be hospitalized.

Side Effects

Montgomery glands are crucial in women because they protect the breast against infections and lubricate the aerola.When they are removed, women especially those who are pregnant are really concerned about whether they can breastfeed or not.

The good news is that you will be able to breastfeed your baby without any problem. This is because during surgery, your sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing milk, are not affected.


Your Montgomery glands can also be infected. Some of the causes of Montgomery glands infections include bacteria. Bacteria can enter your breast through your nipples if they are cracked and cause infections. An example of the breast medical condition that is caused by bacteria is mastitis.

Mastitis is very common in women during the first six months of pregnancy. It can occur when a mother fails to completely empty the breasts because of poor positioning during breastfeeding.


People with mastitis usually feel pain in one breast. Your breast can be red, tender or warm. You can also have higher body temperatures (fever). Mastitis can become severe when untreated. Some of the symptoms of a severe mastitis include increased heart rate, severe pain in the lymph nodes.

Montgomery Glands Picture 2


Before treatment, you will talk with your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing.The doctor will then examine your breasts by looking for redness on your breasts.

The doctor can recommend antibiotics to treat mastitis. In case these antibiotics fail to work after a certain period, your doctor will take a sample of your breast milk and analyze it to determine the cause of the infection.

In addition, your doctor can prescribe acetaminophen to relieve pain and fever.

How to Check your Breast

You can self-check your breast at the comfort of your home so that you can prevent breast conditions like mastitis and cancer. One of the methods you can use is a mirror to examine your breasts. Make sure your shoulders are straight and place your arms on your hips. Then look for the following:

  • The breast that has the normal size, shape and colour.
  • The breast that has no swelling; it has no distortion.

If you notice unusual changes on your breasts, se the doctor immediately. These changes may be as follows:

  • Tenderness, rash, redness and swelling
  • The nipple has changed position; it is inverted
  • Yellow discharge.

Reference list

  1. Mastitis While Breast-Feeding – Topic Overview. Available at
  2. Montgomery glands. Available at
  3. Inflammation of Montgomery Glands .Available at file:///C:/Users/TELCOMS/Downloads/93-94%20(1).pdf
  4. Montgomery Tubercles: An Early Sign of Pregnancy. Available at
  5. Montgomery Glands: How to Care for Them, Can I Remove Them? Available at
  6. Breast anatomy and Psyiolology.Available at
  7. Your breasts, your health throughout your life. Available at
  8. What Do Bumps On The Areola Signify? Available at

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