Have you wondered if your nipples are the right size and color? Do they sometimes seem abnormal and make you worry? If you answered yes to these questions, it’ll help you to know that nipples are of different kinds and they say a lot more than you think.
Here are some facts you might want to know about this multifaceted body part.
8 Nipple Facts You Need To Know
1. Nipples Come In Varying Sizes
If you thought your nipples were too big or too small, you’ll be relieved to know that they actually come in different sizes and that’s perfectly normal. So, don’t stress! They may also get bigger if you put on weight or get pregnant.
2. They Also Come In A Number Of Colors
The color of your nipples may range from dark brown to light brown or brick red to pale pink. Nipple pigment is said to do with your ethnic background and skin tone. When you have a baby, there’s a good chance that your nipples may also change color like they change size. This change is said to be a result of changes in hormone levels during pregnancy and is likely to be permanent.
3. You May Have More Than 2 Nipples
Research suggests that it’s possible to have more than 2 nipples (known as supernumerary nipples) and the occurrence is quite common. It is supposedly more common on the left side and in men.1 They are also usually small and do not develop into regular breasts.
4. Your Nipples Can Contribute To A Great Deal Of Pleasure
Nipples are an erogenous zone, so they can be stimulated to arouse you.2 When they are stimulated, a hormone called oxytocin is released; it causes contractions in your uterus and vagina that are similar to those you have when you get an orgasm. What’s interesting is that nipple stimulation not only arouses women but also over 50% men.
Nipple stimulation is also said to be able to cause orgasms. Not just that, it can also enhance an already existing orgasm.3
5. Nipples Are Likely To Have Bumps
You may notice small bumps on the area surrounding your nipples. Know that it is perfectly normal to have them, and these bumps are most likely hair follicles, ducts, or oil glands.
6. Working Out May Be Harsh On Your Nipples
While your body feels great after a workout, there may be a chance that you don’t feel great around your nipples because they might get dry and sore from rubbing against your bra. To avoid irritated nipples, dab some petroleum jelly before you start working out.
7. Nursing Your Baby Can Make Your Nipples Sore And Leak Milk
While becoming a mom is an amazing phase of life, it might leave your nipples sore because of frequently breastfeeding your baby. However, once you get the hang of it, the pain is sure to ease. If the pain continues for a long time, then it’s a good idea to consult your doctor.
Chances are your breasts may start leaking milk while breastfeeding too. Don’t be alarmed if this happens; it only means that your breasts are lactating well.
8. Nipple Changes May Be Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Nipple discharge is common in pregnant and breastfeeding women. In women who aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding, discharge is normal if it comes out of both nipples and when you squeeze your breasts. You should get yourself checked by a doctor if the discharge comes out without touching your nipples, it comes out only from one nipple, or it is bloody. In such cases, nipple discharge could be a symptom of breast cancer.4
There is also the chance of a very rare kind of cancer called Paget disease of the breast occurring in which the nipple skin and the darker skin around the nipple (the areola) becomes red and this redness doesn’t go away even after a few weeks.5 It’s a good idea to see your doctor when you happen to notice such a change.
Be aware of these facts about your nipples, so you know what’s okay and what’s not. If you notice any abnormalities, see your doctor at the earliest.
|↑1||Schmidt, H. “Supernumerary nipples: prevalence, size, sex and side predilection–a prospective clinical study.” European journal of pediatrics 157, no. 10 (1998): 821-823.|
|↑2||Levin, Roy, and Cindy Meston. “Nipple/breast stimulation and sexual arousal in young men and women.” The journal of sexual medicine 3, no. 3 (2006): 450-454.|
|↑3||Levin, Roy J. “The breast/nipple/areola complex and human sexuality.” Sexual and Relationship Therapy 21, no. 02 (2006): 237-249.|
|↑4||Nipple discharge. MedlinePlus.|
|↑5||Paget Disease of the Breast. National Cancer Institute.|