Why Do My Nipples Hurt? 5 causes of nipple pain

Nipples are sensitive, and they can hurt for lots of reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of nipple soreness and how to treat them.

Poorly Fitting Clothes
A loose shirt or bra can rub against your nipples and irritate your skin, especially with repeated motion like long-distance running. Too much friction could make your nipples bleed. Avoid this problem by wearing tops and bras that fit you well.

Menstrual Periods
Sore nipples and breasts can be signs that your period is coming. Rising estrogen levels cause breast tissue to swell. The pain should stop once you get your period or shortly afterward.

Hormone changes also cause nipple tenderness during pregnancy. Your breasts and nipples will also swell. They may leak fluid as you get closer to delivery. Choose a maternity bra that fits well.

As your baby latches onto your breast, you may feel a short burst of pain in your nipple. The pain should stop after a few seconds. If your baby doesn't latch on correctly, the pain could last through the whole feeding. It might feel like a sharp pinch. Your nipples can also crack and bleed.Your symptoms should get better as your baby gets the hang of feeding. 
  • Gently squeeze out a few drops of milk and rub them over your nipples to soften them before you nurse.
  • Put a balm or ointment, such as lanolin, on your nipples.
  • Let your nipples air dry after each feeding. Change your breast pads often to keep them dry.
  • Wear a comfortable cotton nursing bra. Make sure it fits well so it doesn't rub against your nipples.
  • Try different feeding positions until you find one that's comfortable.
Intense pain in your nipple could be a sign of an infection.

  • Mastitis is an infection of the milk ducts. It happens when bacteria grow inside blocked ducts. It's most common during breastfeeding, but women can get it during other times of life. Men can sometimes have mastitis, too.
  • Thrush is a yeast infection of the breast and nipple that can happen when you’re breastfeeding, especially if you have cracks in your nipple. You can also get it after you've taken antibiotics.
Breast Cancer
Any pain in your breast could make you worry about breast cancer. Although nipple pain can be a sign of the condition, it's rarely the main symptom. You're much more likely to have a painless lump in your breast.


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