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Why Do My Nipples Hurt Really Bad

by Lyndon Langley
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Why Do My Nipples Hurt Really Bad

Why Do My Nipples Hurt Really Bad

When it’s cold or wet outside, we put on a coat to keep warm. But even our best protection from the elements sometimes isn’t enough to protect us from discomfort. A jacket might not be thick enough to block out rain and wind, so when those winds blow, we may shiver uncomfortably until we take off that jacket. Similarly, some people don’t realize how tight their clothing is — especially tight-fitting bras, underwear, pants, shirts, dresses, and skirts. The fabric rubs against our skin, creating friction that causes chafing and irritation. Even though most fabrics won’t cause any real damage, sometimes the pressure is too much. We need to loosen up our wardrobe just like we need to get rid of excess body fat.
Sore nipples aren’t caused by loose clothing; they’re often signs of an infection, inflammation, or allergy. If your nipple becomes red or painful, you should see your doctor right away. Your doctor will likely perform a physical exam and test for bacteria, fungi, yeast, or viruses (such as HIV) with specialized tests. He or she may also order x-rays to check for structural problems. In addition to testing your entire body, your doctor may give you antibiotics if you have a fungal infection. You’ll also want to talk about your symptoms with your doctor because each type of rash has different causes.
Nipple sores can occur at any time, but many times they crop up during menstruation, while nursing, and around ovulation. During menstruation, hormones cause the lining of the uterus to break down and shed into the vagina. This creates blood flow through the vagina, which carries the blood toward the cervix. As this occurs, the veins in your breasts become engorged with fluid, causing them to swell. Swollen breasts are uncomfortable no matter what stage of your cycle you’re in, but the pain increases dramatically after menopause. Menstrual cramps, endometriosis, and fibroids also cause swelling of your breasts and surrounding tissues. Sometimes surgery, hormone therapy, or radiation treatment can help reduce these swollen breasts.
If you’re pregnant, you could experience nipple soreness during the last trimester or immediately following delivery. Pregnancy hormones increase circulation to your breasts, making them larger than normal. The increased size makes your breasts more susceptible to injury, such as rubbing or compression. Breastfeeding can also cause nipple pain, especially if you nurse frequently. When you begin feeding, the pressure of milk squishing your nipples forces the ducts open, causing sensitivity and pain. Although you may find relief from applying ice packs to your chest, there’s nothing wrong with taking over-the-counter pain relievers, antihistamines, or ibuprofen to relieve your discomfort.
Pregnant women are one major exception to this rule, however. While you may feel comfortable wearing halter tops, low-cut blouses, and short skirts, you shouldn’t wear lingerie or sleepwear designed for comfort. Clothing like this restricts circulation to your chest, potentially leading to complications. Your physician can advise you regarding proper bra sizing and appropriate attire for your condition.
So now you know why nipples hurt; let’s learn why they itch so bad.

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