Although there are obviously some benefits to having nipples that are sensitive to the touch, having sore nipples isn’t pleasant at all. Not only is it physically uncomfortable, but it can also make you wonder if something is wrong. After all, healthy nipples shouldn’t hurt.
So, if you’ve noticed that your nipples are feeling especially tender lately, the culprit could be any number of things. Here we will talk about some of the most common causes and what you can do about them.
#1 Regular Menstrual Cycles
Most women experience changes in their breasts and nipples at certain times in their menstrual cycles. In fact, one of the chief complaints that women have about approaching “that time of the month” is the fact that their chest hurts at the slightest touch and that they appeared to grow a cup size overnight (although, some women aren’t complaining about this result).
Obviously, if this is the cause of your soreness, give it a couple days and it will go away on its own. You may want to reduce your intake of salt around this time period so that your body doesn’t retain excess water and make the irritation worse.
#2 Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Not only will you likely experience breast soreness when you’re pregnant, but you may also get it after the fact too if you choose to breastfeed your little one. During pregnancy, there isn’t much that you can do as your hormones are likely going to be going crazy and sore nipples is just one of the side effects.
However, if you have already given birth and are breastfeeding, there are a couple things you can do to ease the pain. For instance, encourage your baby to open his or her mouth wider while eating and, once they are done, remove them from your nipple gently by pulling their chin down to break the suction.
#3 Wearing the Wrong Size Bra
When you wear a bra that is too big or too small (which it is estimated is the case with 80% or more of women), your nipples are going to feel the consequences. Too big and you risk chaffing when your girls are sliding around; too small and you’re going to squish the life out of them which, of course, hurts. It’s like being smashed against the wall day in and day out. Ouch!
A lot of lingerie stores offer to size you for free. While it may be slightly uncomfortable to do, especially if you’re rather shy, the few minutes that you’ll spend slightly underdressed with a person you’ll probably never see again is worth the comfort you’ll gain when you’re wearing the right bra size.
#4 Exercising Without the Proper Sports Bra
If you are a regular exerciser who participates in grueling workouts or plays sports, your sports bra may be too blame. First, it has to be the right size to offer you adequate support for your girls (when your sports bra is too big, your nipples could rub against it and cause chafing and this alone will make them tender to the touch, and not in a good way), but it also has to be the correct kind. They make different types for various intensities to make sure you aren’t bouncing all over, causing soreness.
To get the correct sports bra for your body shape, size and activity of choice, read the tags thoroughly before purchasing one or ask a sales associate at the store. This can save you a lot of pain and aggravation in the long run.
#5 Sustaining an Injury
Any hit to your chest area can make your nipples sore to the touch, causing you to wince even while engaged in a relatively mild activity, such as putting on your bra. Being in an automobile accident, for example, can cause nipple tenderness if the seat belt cuts right across your breasts at the point of impact (which is partially why your seat belt should sit squarely between your breasts to avoid this).
As the injury heals, so too will your nipples. The soreness and swelling will go down and you’ll be pain free in no time.
#6 Dry Skin
This cause is especially prominent during cold winter months when you spend a lot of time inside. The furnace tends to suck the moisture from the air, leaving your skin (and your nipples) dry and cracked.
The best way to combat this is to make sure you always use moisturizers when you get out of the shower. Also, drink a lot of water throughout the day so that you stay hydrated from the inside out.
An infection in the breast tissue, such as mastitis or a yeast infection, can cause soreness, redness, and swelling in the nipples. If your nipple ducts are inflamed or infected, you may have mastitis. In addition to soreness, you may notice other symptoms such as a red hue to the surrounding skin, possible discharge, and skin that feels hot to the touch. If this is the case, you need to seek medical attention. Sometimes it clears up by itself, but it may also require antibiotics so it is best to find out which route to take from a medical doctor.
#8 Breast Cancer
One of the most serious causes of sore nipples is breast cancer. If you’re unsure about the cause of your nipple soreness or it comes and does not go away with your period or pregnancy, it’s always best to go to the doctor and have it checked out. That way, if it is something serious like breast cancer, you can deal with it right away which increases your chances of treating it successfully.
While sore nipples are usually not a cause for concern, they can be uncomfortable and may affect your quality of life. In most cases, sore nipples are not dangerous. f you’re experiencing persistent or severe soreness, or if you have other symptoms such as fever, discharge, or changes in breast shape or size, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying conditions and get appropriate treatment.
Sensitive nipples can be a treat, but ones that hurt are no fun. Take care of yours and you’ll fall into the former category, which is sure to bring about more smiles than the latter.