Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is it normal for my nipples to always lie flat?"
My nipples never really protrude. It's been this way since I was a kid. Does this mean something is wrong with my circulation in my breasts?
Nipples come in all shapes and sizes. It is not uncommon to have inverted or flat nipples. About one tenth of women may have flat nipples. It is fairly common among teens. The flat appearance may stay as it is until you become pregnant. For most women with flat nipples, the nipples become erect during pregnancy as the elasticity of the skin changes. Even if not, it may correct naturally after a baby nurses on them for a while, latching on the areolas and drawing the nipples out to make them the right shapes and sizes for effective breastfeeding. There are many causes. They may be hereditary; that is, it may run in your family. There may be extra fat tissues, which are abnormally large causing the nipples to retract into them. They may be the result of the lactiferous ducts not being stretched or grown properly during puberty. It is the lactiferous ducts that hold the nipples in. Occasionally, nipple asymmetry i.e. an inverted nipple can be due to a mass or tumor so a routine check up is wise. Although having flat nipples is normal, it is always better to consult a primary care doctor who can examine them to come to a conclusion of the cause of your flat nipples and rule out any underlying causes of a nipple variation due to serious medical conditions like a tumor.
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