Nipple Pain in Males, Females & Babies

nipple pain and swelling

Nipple problems can occur in men or women, and are triggered by health problems starting in your body or irritants in your environment. This article addresses nipple problems in both sexes, but not in women who are breastfeeding or who have simply had a baby.

Many nipple issues are not related to breast cancer, but they could suggest a severe underlying condition. Always see a doctor if you have nipple discharge. Nipple issues, consisting of those including the milk ducts, can establish in men in addition to women.

Nipple Problems in Babies

Newborns in some cases have discharge from their nipples since they’ve been soaking up the hormonal agents of their mom, whose body is preparing her for breastfeeding. Nipple discharge in children is in some cases called “witch’s milk.” It’s ruled out dangerous and need to disappear immediately.

Causes of Nipple Pain

  • pregnancy
  • infections
  • little, benign (noncancerous) tumors
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • ectasia (widening of the milk ducts)
  • pituitary gland growth
  • Paget’s disease of the breast

Nipple pain also appear with other symptoms: during of after breastfeeding, in male, when cold, when pms, during pregnancy, while pumping, while nursing, during period, with discharge, after ovulation, after period, after menopause, with swelling, after weaning, because of breast cancer, after breast surgery, with sensitivity, etc.

Nipple discharge is more common in older women if they’ve been pregnant, even years ago.

What Environmental Conditions Could Cause Nipple Problems?

Your nipples can become irritated, sore, and even broke due to friction. Running and sex are in some cases causes of temporary nipple issues due to vigorous rubbing.

There are also medications prescribed for unassociated conditions that can cause breast swelling and nipple discharge. For instance, according to its manufacturer, Janssen, the prescription drug Motilium, which is used to treat queasiness, can increase prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormonal agent that’s produced by the pituitary gland in order to promote breast development and milk production in women. Specific contraceptive pill can likewise cause nipple pain, consisting of discharge.

A severe blow to your breast or uncommon pressure on the chest can likewise trigger nipple discharge.

How Are Nipple Problems Diagnosed?

You will understand immediately if you have a nipple issue. You might see discharge, such as pus or a white, watery fluid. You may also feel pain, itchiness, or swelling in your nipples. See your doctor immediately if you have any discharge at all or discomfort that lasts for more than a couple of days.

You may likewise discover weather changes in the shape of your nipple(s) or in the areola (the skin around your nipple), such as puckering or dimpling of the skin. Always talk about changes like this with your doctor.

Monthly pain that lasts simply a few days might be related to hormonal agent variations throughout your menstrual cycle. This does not indicate a nipple problem, however if it troubles you, do not hesitate to tell your doctor.

Your doctor will examine your nipple and areola. He or she will ask you about medicines you are taking, any changes in your diet, whether you might be pregnant, and any recent exercise or activity that could have irritated your nipples.

If your issue includes discharge, your doctor might carry out a test to discover how many of the ducts that bring fluid to your nipples are included. This is called a ductography. Throughout a ductography, dye is injected into the ducts in your busts and an X-ray is taken to keep an eye on the ducts’ function.

Your doctor may desire you to have a mammogram. A mammogram is an imaging test that tape-records a picture of the tissues inside your breast. This test can reveal if there is a development inside your breast triggering the problem.

If your doctor believes you may have Paget’s disease– an unusual breast cancer– she or he might get a skin biopsy. This will involve getting rid of a tiny piece of skin from your breast for evaluation.

Other tests you may get include:

  • prolactin level blood test.
  • thyroid hormonal agent test.
  • CT scan.
  • MRI scan.

How Are Nipple Pain Treated?

The treatment for your nipple problem will depend upon its cause.


Infections of the nipple will be treated with the appropriate medication. For instance, a bacterial infection will require antibiotics. If you have a fungal infection, such as candidiasas, your doctor will recommend an antifungal. These medications might be taken by mouth or applied to your skin.

Small, benign growth

A noncancerous growth does not have to be gotten rid of, however your doctor might schedule you for routine check-ups to monitor its growth.


Hypothyroidism is when your body doesn’t produce sufficient thyroid hormones and can upset the normal balance of chain reactions in the body. Changing the missing hormonal agents with a prescription medicine can deal with hypothyroidism.


The majority of ectasia, swollen milk ducts, disappears by itself. If you continue to be troubled by it, you must ask your doctor about surgery to remove the swollen milk ducts. If ectasia causes a bacterial infection in your nipples, your doctor can recommend an antibiotic.

Pituitary tumor

Likewise called prolactinoma, a pituitary growth is normally benign and might not require treatment at all. Because of its area in your head, these growths can press on the nerves that result in your eyes, triggering vision issues if they grow too big. Because case, surgery is required to eliminate them.

Pituitary tumors can likewise be treated with 2 medications, bromocriptine and cabergoline, which minimize the quantity of prolactin in your system. If the growth does not respond to medication or continues to grow, radiation treatments might be required.

Paget’s disease of the breast

The treatment for this cancer depends on whether tumors are found elsewhere in the breast besides the nipple. If no other tumors are discovered, treatment consists of surgery to eliminate the nipple and areola, followed by a series of radiation treatments on the whole breast. If other growths are found, you might need a mastectomy to get rid of the whole breast.

Can Nipple Problems & Pains Be Prevented?

Some nipple issues can be prevented. If possible, avoid medicines that are associated with nipple issues, or request a modification in medication if you’re already taking one. If you have hypothyroidism, stay on your prescription medicines, even if you feel better.

You can prevent nipple issues when you work out by using effectively fitting clothes. Women who run or ride horses often need to use a well-fitting sports bra. Men who do the same must consider using a snug-fitting undershirt.

Last modified: August 13, 2016


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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