It’s not unusual for women to experience nipple pain from time-to-time, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating! Sore, sensitive, or tender nipples are painful and just plain unpleasant. If you’ve noticed that your nipples have hurt lately, then it could be for a number of reasons. Here are five of the most common causes of sensitive, tender, or sore nipples.
1. Menstrual Cycles
Many women experience sore breasts or nipples during their menstrual cycles. While it may be annoying and painful, it is nothing to worry about. If you give it a couple of days, the tenderness should go away by itself. To reduce the pain, limit your sodium intake. Sodium will make you retain water and can make the tenderness worse.
Check out this diagram from BBC on what your body is doing in your menstrual cycle.
When you become pregnant, your hormones tend to go a little crazy, and the breast tissue is very sensitive to hormones. This is why pregnancy tends to make your breasts and nipples feel fuller and more tender. At around eight weeks of pregnancy, the areolas become bigger, darker, and more sensitive.
To minimize the pain, try these tips:
- You may want to invest in a soft pregnancy bra.
- Drink plenty of water to flush your body of excess fluids and hormones.
- Apply a warm compress. The heat from the compress can ease the discomfort of the affected area.
- You can massage your sore nipples with olive oil, coconut oil or sweet almond oil. This can help moisturize your nipples and keep them from becoming too dry.
- You can also wrap an ice cube in a cloth and massage that over your sore nipples as well.
According to Mama Natural, here is a sore nipple remedy you can make at home:
Ingredients for Sore Nipples Remedy
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup filtered water
- Squeeze bottle
- Cotton balls
- Coconut oil
- Powdered infant probiotics
- Mix 1 cup of filtered water with 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a squeeze bottle.
- Squirt on a cotton ball with your vinegar solution and apply to your nipple or areola.
- Then apply a small amount of coconut oil to your breast.
- Make a paste by mixing 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 1 teaspoon of probiotic powder and apply to nipple and areola.
- You can put a paper towel on your nipple and then put your bra back on to prevent stains.
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Sometimes, it’s more than just imbalanced hormones causing sore nipples. Mastitis is a condition where tissue in the breast and nipples become inflamed. The nipples become red, swollen and painful to touch. Other symptoms usually include chills, fevers, and fatigue.
Mastitis most commonly occurs during breastfeeding. This happens when milk stays in the breast too long and causes an infection. The best way to prevent mastitis is by nursing your baby frequently or pumping your breast milk. A warm damp washcloth applied to the nipple and ibuprofen can help soothe the pain. However, you should see a healthcare provider if the symptoms do not improve in 24 hours.
Regular exercise is the key to living a healthy life. However, if you’re not careful, exercise may be what’s causing your tender nipples. It’s important that you get a properly fitting sports bra. When a sports bra is too big, your breasts bounce around, and this may cause friction between your nipple and the fabric. Make sure your bra is just the right size, with plenty of support.
5. Allergic Reaction
Nipples are the most sensitive parts of your body, so it’s not uncommon for them to have a bad reaction to some chemicals. Certain soaps, lotions, fabric or laundry detergents may cause your nipples to be sore. If you experience itching, redness or chapping, it could mean that you’re having an allergic reaction.
Contact OB-GYN Women’s Centre in Lakewood for Women’s Healthcare Services
At OB-GYN Women’s Centre, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive gynecological services for all women. From puberty to menopause, we are there for you! Call us at (941) 254-2717 and find out how one of our experienced healthcare professionals can help you.
For additional information about sore nipples, check out our blog What You Need To Know About Sore Nipples.