Ever looked at your chest and thought what the heck are nipples? Ever felt that yours looked strange or weird? Well this odd natural and unique feature on the human body comes with some pretty big responsibilities. Find out more below:
Just like everything else, everyone’s nipples all come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. And despite what stereotypes you may have heard your nipples appearance have nothing to do with your race. Nipples can range from super pale pink to dark dark brown, and be smaller than a dime or larger than a half dollar. And there really isn’t much rhyme or reason to it. Hormones can even change the size and color of your nipples over the course of your life, so don’t get to comfy with what you got, you may wake up with something else down the line.
Think you might have inverted nipples? Well don’t be ashamed, you may be surprised to know that according to the Mayo Clinic about 10% of women have inverted nipples. There is nothing unhealthy about having inverted nipples, and in some case, women with inverted nipples experience them “popping out”, during pregnancy or stimulation.
According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine nipples are an erogenous zone for women. Their research involved studying MRI’s of the brains activity when nipples were stimulated. The results showed the same type of activity within pleasure centers in the brain that occur when there is stimulation of the clitoris or vagina. The study even concluded that the level of stimulation of the nipples could lead to orgasms for some women.
Why Do Men Have Them?
According to a study published in the journal Nature, “during the first few weeks of birth, the embryo develops off of a female blueprint. It isn’t until about 60 days where testosterone kicks in and changes the genetic activity to that of a boy.”
So did you know that its not uncommon for a person to actually have 3 or 4 nipples instead of two? According to a study done in a German scientific journal, researcher Leichtenstern states that, “1 in every 500 people have more than 2 nipples”. These additional nipples are referred to as “supernumerary nipples”. And according to the National Institutes of Health, “supernumerary nipples can show up anywhere on the body, and don’t actually develop into breasts.”
Take a good look at your nipples, you’ll notice there is quite a bit of texture and bumps. According to Ob-gyn Dr. Alyssa Dweck, “This is totally normal. Those bumps on the areola can be hair follicles, ducts, or oil glands that produce lubricating fluid.” So don’t go squeezing, poking, and prodding at them, it isn’t acne. If the bumps are discolored and red, or apart of a rash then you may want to consult a doctor. According Dr. Dweck, “A rare form of breast cancer called Paget’s disease can present itself as a red bump or rash on the nipple or areola.”
The skin on your nipple is fragile like the skin on your face. If you a lover of going braless, then your nipples probably love you, but if you are like most women who wear bras daily and even worse workout, your nipples are probably SUFFERING. Dry and chaffing skin, isn’t uncommon for nipples so extra care to keep them moisturized is important!
Having a child is a blessing, but nursing them day in and day out is probably not your favorite part of being a new mom. Your nipples especially suffer, as it isn’t uncommon from the constant sucking to lead to soreness, cracking, and even bleeding! And let’s not even mention your leaking issue. When the breasts get full of milk, it is possible for them to begin to leak out! A great way to control this is to get on a breast feeding schedule. In most cases your body will adapt. Try breastfeeding before you feel your boobs getting too full. As a last resort, there are many brands that carry breast pads that are specifically meant to catch and absorb any leakage your nipples may produce.
Some discharge is totally normal, if you get it on occasion, but pussy or white creamy discharge that releases without force could be problematic. According to the National Institute of Health, “In some cases abnormal nipple discharge can be a sign of cancer.”
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