Why Are My Nipples So Tender
If you’re a woman, you’ve probably noticed that breasts get more sensitive when you become pregnant or lactate. There’s no doubt about it — breasts do change! And while there may be some things you don’t want to see on this body part, one thing is for sure; nipples are extremely sensitive parts of our bodies. They are also very important since they provide nourishment to infants by secreting milk and serve as an external organ for nipple sensitivity. In fact, only two other areas on the human body have such high concentrations of nerve endings.
There are many different types of breast tissue, each with its own purpose and function. The outer layer (the skin) has three layers. Beneath the surface lies the subcutaneous fat pad which provides insulation between the skin and the muscle underneath. Next comes the mammary gland itself, made up of lobules, ducts and glands. Finally, we have the dermis, which consists of connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels. The glands produce milk through the action of hormones and contractions of surrounding muscles. When a baby latches onto a mother’s teat, she feels these contractions and releases milk into her infant’s mouth. This process repeats every four hours throughout the day until the baby is full.
Breasts grow from puberty onward thanks to estrogen and progesterone. As we age, however, our levels of these hormones naturally decline. During menopause, hormone production diminishes further due to ovulation stopping. While hormonal changes occur across the board, they are most pronounced around perimenopause and menopause. Breast size will fluctuate, sometimes growing larger than normal, while at other times shrinking. All this change causes breasts to swell and sagginess to develop. Women who take birth control pills are also susceptible to hormonal changes caused by oral contraception.
While breasts often feel fuller and firmer, this isn’t always true. Breasts aren’t just swollen bags under the skin. Their shape varies with the type of breast tissue present. A woman may have large, firm breasts but still experience back pain and neck stiffness because of their weight. On the other hand, smaller-breasted women might find themselves feeling self-conscious about having small cup sizes. Regardless of what kind of breasts you have, keep reading to learn how they can affect your sex life.
Some Types Of Breast Tissue
The main differences among breast tissue include whether they are hard and dense or soft and fatty. Harder tissues are denser and contain less fat. Soft tissues, which account for 80 percent of all female breasts, are usually heavier and flatter. These breasts tend to sag after menopause.
Another distinction is whether the breast is predominantly right-or left-side dominant. If you prefer using your right side over your left, then you likely have a left-dominant breast. Left-sidedness occurs more frequently in people with strong handedness. However, not everyone prefers using their left sides. Some people use both sides equally well.
Finally, if you have asymmetrical breasts, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. One breast appears bigger than the other because it’s higher on the chest wall. Sometimes, doctors refer to them as “obstructing” rather than “asymmetric.”
Asymmetrical breasts can cause problems for those who sleep on their backs. Since the larger breast hangs lower than the smaller one, gravity pulls the larger breast downward toward the floor. This puts pressure on the heart and lungs and prevents them from getting enough air. Sleeping on your stomach instead of your back can help remedy this problem.
With so much variation among breasts, why does it seem like everybody gets their nipples irritated? Read on to learn about how tight tops and bras can cause irritation and inflammation.
Are You Suffering From Sore Nipples?
Itchy, inflamed nips are common complaints for women across the world. Unfortunately, not all cases require medical attention. Many women simply need to adjust their clothing styles to avoid causing painful reactions. But if you think you might have a serious issue on your hands, consult a doctor immediately.
One of the biggest culprits of nipple discomfort is wearing ill-fitting bras. Bras should fit properly without digging into the skin or making contact with the nipples. If the straps press too close to the armpits of your shoulders, the cups won’t sit correctly. Wearing ill-fitted bras can increase the risk of ingrown hairs and chafing, especially if you wear tight pants or shirts. To prevent these uncomfortable issues, try buying bra extenders. Bra extenders slip behind your regular bra frame and hold your breasts in place. By doing so, the extender raises the bottom band of your bra several inches above the top strap. This allows you to pull off any excess fabric and create a better fit.
Other causes of irritation include tight-fitting clothes, particularly those designed specifically for sports enthusiasts. Sports bras, for example, often cut off circulation to the nipples. If you play sports, consider investing in a supportive sports bra. Also, avoid wearing lingerie that contains elasticized corsets or bustiers. Elasticized garments can compress the ribcage, reducing breathing room and possibly interfering with oxygen intake. If you must wear corseted outfits, make sure the garment fits comfortably.
Pregnancy can also result in sore nipples. Breastfeeding mothers must deal with sore nipples on a daily basis. After childbirth, new moms report experiencing extreme tenderness, discomfort and even bleeding. Fortunately, nursing pads can alleviate these symptoms. Nursing pads absorb fluid buildup and protect nipples from rubbing against the breast pump. Using them for longer than necessary could result in infection, though.
If you suffer from chronic nipple pain, see a physician. Your condition may indicate cancerous growths or suggest allergies to certain fabrics. Itching and burning sensations may be signs of yeast infections. Other conditions requiring medical attention include mastitis, a bacterial infection of the breast tissue, and systemic diseases such as lupus erythymatosus and diabetes.
For more information on nipple health, read related articles found on the next page.
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