Nipples, despite the fact that they only take up a small part of the body, get a lot of attention, like, A LOT. They’re controversial, everyone’s obsessed with them, yet most of us don’t know much about them. Here are 15 facts about nipples that you may or may not know:
1. Men have nipples because women do
It’s time to answer the age old question: Why do men have nipples? Well, it turns out that nipples come before sex organs, and according to Prof. Andrew M. Simons, “The presence of nipples in male mammals is a generic architectural by-product of nipples in females.”
2. There are 8 types of nipples
The types are: Protruding, flat, puffy, inverted, unilateral inverted (one nipple raised, the other inverted), bumpy, hairy, supernumarary (
nipples that have superpowers extra nipples)!
3. Change in nipple colour can indicate breast cancer
The nipple might turn red or purple. You should also pay attention to the texture of the nipple, look for a scaly and itchy rash. Plus, if your nipples suddenly become inverted, that might also be a sign of breast cancer.
4. Your nipples can look different from one another
Like your eyebrows, they nipples can sometimes be sisters, not twins. So don’t be alarmed if they look different!
5. Your nipple doesn’t include your areola
It can be confusing, like trying to differentiate the vagina and vulva, but the nipple is essentially the very center portion of your breast, linked to the mammary glands, where milk is produced, while the areola is the darker colored area surrounding the nipple.
6. You can get nipplegasms
YES, GURL. You can achieve orgasms through nipple stimulation. Plus, it’s an erogenous zone for both women and men (82 percent in women and 52 percent of men).
7. The small bumps on your areola are normal
A.k.a, montgomery glands. They’re basically sebaceous glands that make sebum, which keeps your areola and nipple lubricated!
8. Some people don’t have nipples
It’s a rare condition called Athelia, where a child’s breast doesn’t properly develop. It can occur on one or both breasts.
9. Men can lactate too
While it is very rare, past studies have shown that men could produce milk similar to lactating women. It’s called galactorrhea, and it can be due to major hormone surges.
10. You can have two nipples on one areola
It’s called a double and bifurcated nipple, and yes, both nipples may be able to lactate!
11. It’s possible to have multiple nipples
Known as supernumerary nipples, it can occur outside of the typical location. One man was even found to have a total of seven nipples!
12. Breastfeeding women can start spontaneously leaking milk when they hear or think about their babies
For some moms, this can even happen when they hear someone else’s baby crying. Yeah, Kevin was right.
13. Nipples change shape during pregnancy
Your nipples will become larger, more pronounced, and even change shape when you’re pregnant. This is because the skin on your breasts stretches to accommodate their growing size, which can cause itching or dryness.
14. Nipple cancer is a thing
It’s rare, but it happens. Paget’s disease is a rare form of breast cancer, and it starts on the nipple and extends outwards towards the areola. The symptoms are: flaky or scaly skin on the nipple, itching, crusty skin on the nipple or areola, redness, a burning sensation, bloody nipple discharge, a flattened or inverted nipple, and a lump in the breast. So take note, girlies!
15. People can get nipple tattoos
Common among people who’ve had mastectomies, they’re basically applied with needles that insert pigment into the skin, like a normal tattoo. They can also be done to enhance the appearance of nipple reconstruction surgery!
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