Montgomery glands were named for William F. Montgomery, an Irish obstetrician (1797 – 1859). Glands of Montgomery are sebaceous glands in the areola (of the nipple). The glands make oily secretions (lipoid fluid) to keep the areola and the nipple lubricated and protected.
Montgomery’s tubercle is one of the sebaceous glands on the areola of the breast that lubricate the breast during breast-feeding. These small glands in and around the nipple provide lubrication and protection against infection, which is particularly important for breast-feeding mothers.
The portion of the gland on skin’s surface is called Montgomery tubercles. The round bumps are found in the areola, but also on the nipple itself. They can become exposed and raised when the nipple is stimulated. The skin over the surface opening is lubricated and tends to be smoother than the rest of the areola. The tubercles become more pronounced during pregnancy.
The number of glands varies from low of four to high of twenty-eight.
What is the purpose and function of the areola? The areola helps to support the nipple and also contains Montgomery’s glands which help to keep the nipple moisturized during breastfeeding.
Montgomery’s glands are modified sweat glands which produce secretions that act as a lubricant for breastfeeding. In most cases, Montgomery’s glands (the bumps on the periphery of the areola) are removed with reduction of the areola during breast reduction. They should continue to function in their usual fashion if they are left in place.
Montgomery glands are important during breastfeeding