8 Reasons Why Your Nipples Ache

There really is no need to worry if as a lady your nipples ache, though you have to pay attention if it gets more serious.

The nipples are a very sensitive part of the female body and can cause one to be uncomfortable when it hurts.

If you’ve noticed that your nipples have become painful lately, then it could be for a number of reasons.

Here are eight of the most common causes of sensitive, tender, or sore nipples.

1. Hormones

Many women experience sore breasts or nipples during their menstrual cycles due to hormonal changes. Both estrogen and progesterone levels increase just before a woman’s period starts. These hormones draw fluid into the breasts making them feel swollen and tender. Estrogen causes breast ducts to enlarge and progesterone causes milk glands to swell. Nipple pain during this time is also common

While it may be annoying and painful, it is nothing to worry about. After a couple of days, the tenderness should go away by itself.

2.  Pregnancy

When you become pregnant, your hormones tend to go a little crazy, and the breast tissue is very sensitive to hormones. This is why pregnancy tends to make your breasts and nipples feel fuller and more tender. At around eight weeks of pregnancy, the areolas become bigger, darker, and more sensitive.

3.   Allergies or skin conditions

Nipples are the most sensitive parts of your body, so it’s not uncommon for them to have a bad reaction to some chemicals. Certain soaps, lotions, fabric, or laundry detergents may cause your nipples to be sore. If you experience itching, redness, it could mean that you’re having an allergic reaction.

4.  Cancer and Paget’s disease

Some nipple pain and other symptoms can be a sign of issues such as cancer, although tumors do not usually cause pain. Nipple pain caused by cancer will often only affect one breast and nipple.

Paget’s disease is a rare type of cancer involving the nipple that commonly occurs alongside tumors in the same breast. People with Paget’s disease and breast cancer may experience other symptoms, including:

  • a flattened or inverted nipple
  • yellowish or bloody discharge from the nipple
  • itching or tingling sensations
  • reddish, flaky, crusty, or scaly skin around the nipple and areola

Paget’s disease and breast cancer are diagnosed by inspecting the affected cells.

5.  Friction

Regular exercise is the key to living a healthy life. However, if you’re not careful, exercise may be what’s causing your tender nipples. It’s important that you get a properly fitting sports bra. When a sports bra is too big, your breasts bounce around, and this may cause friction between your nipple and the fabric. Make sure your bra is just the right size, with plenty of support.

READ: 5 Causes Of Breast Pain Every Woman Should Know

6. Breastfeeding

It is not uncommon for nipples to feel sore and tender after breastfeeding; especially in the first few minutes when the baby first latches onto the breast. However, nipples should not remain sore or bleed for long periods of time.

If your nipple pain is severe or continuous or recurs then this may be caused by a technique problem such as making sure your baby has latched properly which should be corrected.

7. Infection

Nipples that have already been injured by friction, an allergic reaction, or are cracked or bleeding have a higher risk of infection.

It is possible to get a yeast infection of the nipples, which is a fungal infection caused by Candida albicans. This can be the result of damage to the surrounding tissue, recent antibiotic use, or when a person has a history of fungal infections.

A yeast infection, also known as thrush, at the nipples is often felt as a burning, stinging pain that does not go away by reducing sources of friction. The nipples may be bright pink and the areola may be reddish or flaky.

8. Sexual contact

Sexual activity can be another cause of nipple pain. Body friction or sexual activity that involves the nipples can cause soreness. This pain is usually temporary and is often treated by simply giving the nipples time to heal.

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