8 things you need to know about your nipples

Nipples can alert you or give you clues about some potential health issues including breast cancer. Thus, take note of these things about them.

Nevertheless, the nipples can alert you or give you clues about some potential health issues including breast cancer. Thus, knowing more about your nipples and how they work, or whether they look weird, can teach you a lot about your health.

Here’s what you need to know about your nipples.

Your nipples don’t necessarily match

Your breasts are probably not the same size and shape, and so are your nipples. However, if you feel that something has really changed, or it’s unusual, consult your doctor.

Discharge is sometimes normal

Your nipples may occasionally leak a clear or whitish fluid but there is nothing to worry about as the situation can arise when your nipples are stimulated by any sexual activity, during exercise or are rubbed. Your nipples can also leak when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. But if you realize that the leaking is going on for more than a week, or they leak without being stimulated, consult your doctor. It could be an infection or something else your doctor needs to know about.

Most nipples protrude outward

There is nothing wrong with having inverted nipples, as you can still breastfeed and enjoy all the benefits thereof. But if you notice that one of your nipples has recently flattened, see a doctor as it could also indicate breast cancer or another health condition.

Nipple size and color can vary. It’s so normal

Nipples come in so many sizes and there is nothing wrong with that. Nipple color varies too, from light pink to dark brown and so on and that’s also normal. Sometimes, the nipple can stick out or blend smoothly with the areole (the darker, typically raised circle around the nipple).

The bumps on the areolas are there for a reason

The small bumps on the areolas are called Montgomery tubercles, and they secrete oil that helps lubricate the nipple during pregnancy and lactation.  You may have a few Montgomery tubercles or several, and their size and appearance may change when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If they are not painful or suddenly appear big, then just leave them alone.

Nipple hair is normal

Having hair on your nipple is normal. But if you feel that it’s more than the ordinary, then see a doctor.

Having two or three nipples normal?

You may think that having two breasts means two nipples. But this is not always the case as some women may have a third nipple or even other smaller nipples. This condition can occur during the earlier stages of pregnancy. They will not cause any harm so there is nothing to worry about.

Pregnancy can change the colour of your nipple

Your nipples and areolas may become darker at some point during the three trimesters of pregnancy. Carrying a baby also changes the size of the breast, and this may in turn cause the nipple to have more bumps or more hair around the areolas. These happen at a point and go away after some time, but not all women are able to get back their previous shape.

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