Why Are my Nipples Sore

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why Are my Nipples Sore

Sore nipples are something that people often suffer from repeatedly throughout life. Most people think only women suffer, but it is also a condition that men may suffer at some point too. For females, this condition occurs frequently due to multiple hormonal changes experienced in stages such as puberty, pregnancy, lactation and the menopause. For further information and to answer the question why are my nipples sore, on OneHowTo we have prepared the following article that highlights the most common causes.

Steps to follow:

Women experience significant hormonal changes during many stages of life and these are then responsible, in most cases, for the onset of sore nipples and breasts, as well as an increased sensitivity in the chest area. Starting from the initial stage, puberty is when the breasts begin to develop and grow. The breasts are suddenly much more sensitive and this process can result in severe discomfort, but this will disappear once breast development is complete. If the pain persists or is unbearable, consult with your doctor immediately.

Why Are my Nipples Sore - Step 1

Another of the stages that women often have sore nipples is during pregnancy. During those delicate months, the body begins to prepare for labor and physical changes, such as the thickening of the uterus and breast enlargement, so that these tissues are prepared for milk production. Also, an increased production of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone occurs. All of these variations can cause tenderness, pain and hardening of a woman's breasts and nipples.

Also, nipple pain is also a common symptom during the breastfeeding stage. In this case, the discomfort can be accentuated due to the suction of the baby and the woman's breasts are much more sensitive than usual. At this stage, it is also very common to see the onset of a condition known as mastitis. This is an inflammation of the mammary gland that occurs when the secretion of milk does not flow properly and so, the milk accumulates. This condition causes symptoms such as pain, swelling, redness and tenderness.

Why Are my Nipples Sore - Step 2

Despite being the most common cause why nipples are sore, it's not just hormonal changes that can cause pain in the nipples. There are other triggers for this type of discomfort such as an overstimulation during more intimate encounters. The nipples and areolas are very sensitive areas of the breasts and so excessive or abrupt manual or oral stimulation can lead to an individual feeling some pain. To avoid this, it is essential to be aware of the sensitivity of the area and to perfectly control the pace of stimulation, always trying to be gentle and slow.


During periods of low temperatures, the nipples may suffer and cause slight discomfort. That is why in extremely cold climates the use of padded bras is recommended. Dress warmly and care for your skin by moisturizing it to avoid it from drying out.

Similarly, it is important to moisturize your body, including the nipples, throughout the year to prevent drying and irritation, which could end up causing some discomfort and soreness.

Why Are my Nipples Sore - Step 4

Some people are very sensitive to certain types of textiles, so it is possible that cloth underwear or shirt could also trigger an irritation of the nipple and therefore a painful sensation. In this case, opt for wearing natural fabrics such as cotton or hemp and avoid wearing synthetic fabrics.

A cosmetic product or shower gel may also be cause dermatitis, pain, irritation and even redness on your nipples because the product is aggressive for your skin.


After a trauma or stroke in the area of the breasts, it is normal to feel pain in the nipples and so that part of the body may feel tense or sore. If a bruise appears, if there's no bleeding or if the pain is severe, you should see a doctor urgently as medical revisions and tests ought to be done.

Why Are my Nipples Sore - Step 6

Although in a few cases sore nipples are a clear symptom of breast cancer, it is essential to review the appearance of the breast to see if there are significant changes in the shape or to check if nodules are palpated. If so, you should consult a gynaecologist immediately to confirm or rule out any possible breast cancer. Do not forget the importance of checking your breasts for problems or warning signs at home and going to gynaecological tests when required.

Why Are my Nipples Sore - Step 7

If you want to read similar articles to Why Are my Nipples Sore, we recommend you visit our Being a Mom & Dad category.

Write a comment

What did you think of this article?
Why Are my Nipples Sore
1 of 6
Why Are my Nipples Sore

Back to top