Why nipples harden in women: reasons

The most sensitive part of a woman’s body is the mammary glands. Often in this area there is a feeling of discomfort. It is worth more to talk about why nipples harden.

Obvious reasons

Specialists in the field of gynecology identify several reasons why women have nipples harden:

  1. Due to prolonged stress. As you know, a huge number of nerve endings are concentrated in the chest. If a young mother is nervous for a long time, then her milk disappears. The rest of the women begin to harden nipples.
  2. Change hormonal levels.
  3. Viral disease. In many women, the mammary glands may change with increasing body temperature.
  4. Great excitement.
  5. Nipples can shrink and harden from any tactile touch.

Gynecologists claim that the most common cause of this symptom is the early stage of pregnancy.

why nipples harden

Chest response to arousal

As mentioned earlier, there are several reasons why female nipples harden.It is worth a closer look at each of them.

breast nipples

Any organism reacts differently to sexual intercourse. The mammary glands can mutate from someone strong, someone from mild arousal. And for some of the fair sex they do remain in the same condition.

Why do nipples harden when excited? This is due to the intensive production of endorphins - the hormones of joy. If a man sees that the partner’s halos have shrunk, his skin has got a rough shape, then he can be sure that he is doing everything right.

Emotional factor or illness

A less common reason why nipples harden is stress. This change occurs in approximately three percent of women. The human body can be sensitive to anxiety and feelings. This leads to a violation of the hormonal background, and subsequently - to change the cycle of menstruation and change the appearance of the nipples.

Any disease is also a great stress for the body. Many young mothers during lactation weakens immunity. When the body temperature rises, some of them have stagnant milk, the nipples of the breast begin to harden, swell and redden.

The first sign of pregnancy

Nature laid down that the woman's body is designed to create a new life. As soon as the egg is fertilized, it begins to prepare for the bearing of the fetus. Many of the symptoms can alert the expectant mother to her interesting position more quickly than experienced specialists or modern diagnostic equipment do.

 why women harden nipples

An obvious symptom is a change in the appearance of the nipples of the breast. They become darker, harden and swell. Often in this area there is a feeling of discomfort and light pain. A woman may feel that her bust has even become one size larger.

What is the reason? The body at the natural level is preparing for postpartum lactation. Accordingly, the expansion of the duct of the breast. In 70 percent of women this occurs in the first trimester of pregnancy, in 25 percent in the second and third, the remaining 5 percent do not feel any changes during the period of pregnancy.

Impact on tactile contact or individual feature

why female nipples harden

Many women are interested in why nipples harden, even from a light touch. The skin in this area becomes wrinkled and coarse.This protective reaction is an individual feature of the body. Some women will have a similar symptom:

  • Due to temperature fluctuations. For example, if a woman after a hot bath dives into an ice-hole; out of the house out on a cold street in light clothes. Any abrupt change in temperature conditions leads to such changes.
  • Due to physical exertion. Approximately 2 percent of women experience a muscle spasm during sports. The condition of halos will recover on its own, 10–15 minutes after a grueling workout.
  • Almost 70 percent of women have nipples that harden and hurt due to changes in the hormonal levels in the body. Often this happens before menstruation or ovulation.

There is also a less common feature of the body, when the breast always has a dense structure with firm nipples. Women live with it throughout life, and it absolutely does not bother them.

Incorrect choice

Why often nipples harden and hurt? Surprisingly, such a sign may be associated with allergies. For example, if a female has put on clothes of poor quality material.Some ladies like to wear a bra one or two sizes smaller than the original, to make their dignity more expressive. Because of this, a similar affliction may also occur.

No reason to worry.

why nipples often harden and hurt

As it turned out, there are a number of reasons why nipples harden in women. Such a phenomenon is an absolute norm if:

  • The pain is moderate. Has the same character throughout the day. Does not increase with time.
  • There are no additional symptoms.
  • The pain is present for no more than three days.
  • No puffiness.
  • No redness.

The absolute norm is such a symptom during pregnancy, ovulation, lactation and before the menstrual cycle. In all of the above cases, the assistance of a specialist is not required. A slight indisposition can be removed by massaging this area with smooth movements, taking a warm shower.

Specialist help needed

why nipples harden when excited

Sometimes the hardening of the nipples can be the primary symptom of a serious illness. It is necessary to seek the help of a specialist if the following symptoms appear:

  1. If the malaise is constantly increasing. Subsequently, it is expressed by acute, barely tolerable pain.
  2. With the appearance of additional characteristic signs: fever, redness, erosion, swelling.
  3. With simultaneous pain in other areas of the body.
  4. If there is any discharge from the nipples. The exception is the period of lactation or pregnancy.
  5. If a chest seal is found.

It is necessary to guard, if simultaneously with the hardening of the nipples appear the above symptoms. They can be a harbinger of a serious illness, from mastitis to cancer. The following is required:

  • Come to a consultation with a therapist, breast specialist or gynecologist.
  • To pass a number of standard tests: urine, feces, CBC.
  • Make an ultrasound (ultrasound).
  • Get a mammogram.
  • If necessary, an additional biopsy is prescribed to detect cancer cells.

A number of studies will eliminate the risk of developing a serious disease in the early stages.

What about men?

The question of why nipples harden, more concerned women. This does not mean that men do not encounter such phenomena. A similar symptom they may appear in the following cases:

  • With strong agitation.
  • In a state of intoxication.
  • Often this occurs in adolescents during puberty.

Such a sign, as well as in women, can be a harbinger of a serious illness.


There are a lot of both harmless and serious reasons why nipples harden. Listen to your body. Rate the nature of the pain. Analyze your condition for additional symptoms. All this will allow you to determine whether this symptom is normal or it's time to see a specialist.

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