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What Does It Mean When Your Nipples Are Sore? Find The Answers Here

Your nipples are a sensitive part of your body and in some ways that can be a good thing, but what about when they hurt. Sore nipples are no fun and the reason why they are sore can vary. 

What does it mean when your nipples are sore? This is the question we will address today. Some of the answers will surprise you and will require you to make changes in your life to prevent such discomfort. 

It is important to keep a close eye on your nipples, as well as your breast because your nipples can reveal signs of trouble. We will discuss the many different reasons why your nipples are sore and will address what you should do when you find that one of your most sensitive body parts is causing you to scream in pain. 

Hormones and Other Valid Reasons

Let's face it! As women, our hormones rule the roost in our bodies and can cause many things to go haywire. This is very much the case in most reasons why our nipples may hurt.

Menstrual Effect

Many things happen to your body the week before and the week of your period. One of the many symptoms you could experience is painful swelling in your breast.

Your nipples can experience some tenderness and pain during that time of the month thanks to the fluctuation of your hormones. This is normal and is nothing to worry about.

The pain should go away once your period starts or ends, depending on your body, and then you will be back to normal. One suggestion to help relieve some of your discomfort is to cut back on your salt and caffeine intake during this time.

Salt can cause you to retain more water than normal, which can increase the swelling and discomfort in your breast. Caffeine, in some women, has been known to exacerbate fibroid cyst and increase swelling.

Pregnancy May Be the Cause Photos

Nothing will throw your hormones out of control like pregnancy will. If you are pregnant, you will definitely experience some nipple pain.

This is a side effect you will have to simply suffer through because there is nothing you can do about it. Your hormones are running the show at this point, so you will need to just grin, bear it, and enjoy the ride.


Breastfeeding is one of the great benefits of being a woman. Your body is producing nutrition for another human being.

Unfortunately, this miracle of life comes with a cost. The constant suction on the nipples can cause chafing, dryness, and discomfort.

It is important to keep your nipples moisturized. You can also teach your baby to latch on with a wider mouth and disconnect them from your breast by pulling down on their chin.

Exercising Can Do the Trick

You probably never think about it when you go to get your endorphin fix, but those sports bras you are wearing can be the wrong size and type for your breast.

If you are someone who works out a lot or indulges in a lot of sports activities, the type of sports bra you wear is important. You need a bra that will be supportive for the type of jumping and moving around you will be doing.

The tags of every sports bra will lay out what type of activity they will be better suited for. You want a bra that fits perfectly because a sports bra that is too big will cause rubbing, which is why your nipples hurt in the first place.

What Size Bra Do You Wear?

Most women cannot accurately identify their true bra size. Wearing the appropriate bra is important for your breast's overall health.

If you are wearing a bra that is too small, you will put a tremendous amount of pressure on your breast and this can irritate the nipples. If your bra is too big, much like with a sports bra, your nipples can rub up against the fabric and become dry and sore.

Most bra shops offer free fittings to make sure you are wearing the bra that fits you best. You will feel and look better with a bra that holds your girls up supportively.

Breast Cancer

No one really wants to think about the possibility, but when it comes to breast cancer, you cannot ignore the signs. Sore nipples can be a sign of breast cancer.

Before you get too nervous, try to rule out all the previous possible causes first. If you are experiencing soreness in your nipples without being on your period or being pregnant, you should make an appointment to see your doctor immediately to have your breast checked.

It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to Cancer.

Did You Suffer Any Injury?

The last place you want to suffer an injury is your breast, but it happens. You can accidentally walk into something and hurt your breast as easily as you can hurt your arm.

Though you will suffer some pain for a few days or so, you will find that as your nipples heal, the pain will dissipate into nothingness.

Keep Them Moisturized

Your nipples have skin like the rest of your body parts. They can become just as dry as any other portion of your body.

Keeping your nipples moisturized, especially in cold weather, will help to keep them from drying out and cracking. This will save you a lot of pain and heartache in the end.

You can also keep your body hydrated by drinking water to help with dryness.

What is Mastitis?

Every part of your body is susceptible to infection and your nipples are no different. Mastitis is a condition where your nipple ducts get infected or inflamed.

This condition can cause your nipples to become extremely sore to the touch. It can also cause them to leak a discharge.

If you notice your nipples are red or have a red hue around them, make an appointment to see your doctor. This is a condition that can easily be treated with antibiotics.

If you are lucky, sometimes it will clear up all on its own.

Have You Heard of Ectasia?

Ectasia is a rare condition where a milk duct can become clogged and widened. It commonly affects women over the age of 45.

It can be a painful situation, but nothing to be overly concerned about. This is a part of the aging process and can go away on its own.

In severe cases, your doctor may have to remove the milk duct surgically.


Strangely enough, you can suffer nipple pain from certain mental health and various other medications. The following medications can cause nipple pain:

  • The pill
  • Anti-psychotics
  • Amphetamines
  • Antihistamines
  • Antidepressants

If you find that you are suffering from a side effect of your medication, contact your doctor immediately to remedy the problem.

Nipple pain, in some ways, is just a normal part of being a woman. Most of the time it is simply a part of the natural order of things.

Our hormones shift and go haywire for a number of reasons and our nipples become a casualty of war. Our nipples sensitivity makes them susceptible to pain.

Some of the reasons our nipples hurt can be rectified easily with a little wardrobe or lifestyle change. Other issues can be remedied with a simple antibiotic.

Others still may be serious situations you must consult your doctor about immediately.

Your breasts are an important part of your body. They perform as an erogenous zone and nutrition for your baby.

You must pay attention to them. Performing routine self-check-ups on them keeps you one step ahead of the game. If you find any abnormalities, seeking medical attention immediately can be the difference between life and death.

If you have never gone to get your breast sized for a bra, you may want to consider doing so. This can be done for free and can relieve you of any potential nipple pain from wearing the wrong bra size.

Remember, you want to always make sure you stay hydrated. A well-hydrated body is not only good for your nipples but for your complexion and the rest of your body as well.

Don't forget to cut back on salt and caffeine right before and during your period. This alone can save you a little swelling and pain.

In most cases, we cannot control what our breast will do due to our hormones, but we can do little things here and there to relieve ourselves of some of the fallout from what our hormones can do to our breast and nipples.

Hopefully, these tips answer the question, "What does it mean when your nipples are sore?" in a way that helps you see your nipples in a different light. Preparation and knowledge can save your nipples and in some cases your life.

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Hannah Tong

Hannah Tong is the founder of Omaby.com, a blog dedicated to providing accurate advice to mothers regarding childcare. She loves taking care of her kids and teaching them the right things. She is also enthusiastic and loves sharing her experiences to teach others about how to care for their families’ health.

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