Long Hard Nipples : Why Are My Nipples Always Hard?

Hard Nipples

Are you worried about hard nipples? Don’t you worry. Read this article to get the answer to most of your questions related to it. 

The nipples are such a part of your body which are both weird as well as wonderful. They stick out when you feel cold and become erect when someone turns you on. Or, some other times they just go hard suddenly. There is a specific nerve behind this erection of the hard nipples, whose work is particularly to erect it in particular situations.

In most women, the nipples become sore and hard with the tenderness of the breast. Also, they may release some discharge after ovulation. That is why sometimes women take it as a sign of early pregnancy.

Are Hard Nipples Normal?

Actually, breast tenderness after ovulation is mainly due to hormonal changes. It includes the increase in the hormone progesterone, which is produced by the corpus luteum, which is a specialized region in the ovary where the eggs originate. 

The nerves in the nipple show reaction to either physical or psychological stimuli causing them to be hard, most basic of which may include

  • Change in temperature
  • An arousing thought
  • The fabric of your shirt brushing against your skin

These all factors can cause one or both of your nipples to become erect.

In addition to these causes, some underlying health issues can also lead to hard nipples. Therefore, you should be aware of the signs that can help you understand when it’s time to visit a doctor.

Possible Causes of Hard Nipples 

According to some well-reputed researchers, nipples have thousands of nerve endings. These make them more sensitive than other parts of the body. These researchers mention that there are many types of nipples among women. They also explain why women often experience hard and erect nipples. Some of the main reasons why nipples become hard or erect are given below.

  1. Exercise and sports

Pain in the hard nipples is rarely a symptom of a serious disease. Nipple friction and pain can be caused by exercise. It is most common in those women who do not wear a sports bra during exercise or wear a poorly fitting bra. Women who are long runners, do hard exercise, or are surfers who do not wear rash guards may have the same symptoms in common.

This type of friction can cause the following symptoms in many women doing different exercises

  • Dryness
  • Irritation
  • Bleeding
  • Soreness
  1. 2. Allergies and sensitivities

As the nipples are the most sensitive part of the body and they respond to different stimuli immediately. This means that they are sensitive to certain things like 

  • Weather changes
  • Fabrics including wool
  • Soaps
  • Lotions
  • Laundry detergents

All these factors cause itching and pain in the nipples. In addition to that, they may also cause the nipple to appear chapped or red. 

  1. Sexual Activity

Intense oral stimulation during sexual activity can cause strong and forceful friction which may lead to the tenderness and soreness of hard nipples. This mostly is temporary and happens only during intense sexual activity. Therefore, it likely resolves on its own.

  1. Breastfeeding

Commonly a condition named mastitis usually occurs because of breastfeeding. In this condition, the nipples may chaff and crack. This makes the tissues of the breast infected and inflamed. Therefore, if someone is suffering from this, she should visit her doctor for treatment and proper ovulation. 

In order to avoid such a condition, it is recommended to keep the nipples clean and dry. Also, apply a lanolin cream to keep the skin moisturized.

  1. Thrush

It is a type of candidiasis caused by Candida yeast. Nipple pain can be a major symptom of hard nipples thrush which is common in ladies who are breastfeeding. Thrush can be transferred from mother to child but it is curable. However, it should be treated immediately. The most common symptoms of thrush include

  • Burning
  • Cracking
  • Soreness
  • Stinging
  • White patches in the mouth
  1. Pregnancy

Tenderness, soreness, and pain are common during pregnancy. Mostly they happen in the first trimester but somehow, they can also occur in the third phase. However, it can be prevented by using a well-fitting support bra.

  1. Menstrual cycle

When the level of progesterone increases, hard nipples tenderness and soreness tend to occur frequently. These processes usually start a week before the period begins. However, when the hormonal level normalizes, the sensation of pain, sensitivity and other symptoms subside.

  1. Perimenopause and menopause

During the process of perimenopause and menopause, nipples and breasts can become very tender, sore, and sensitive. All this is because of hormonal shifting.

  1. Birth control

Sometimes the side effects of birth control pills are very much similar to those of pregnancy. Over time, when after a few months the body becomes accustomed to meditation, they usually resolve automatically. However, if these side effects do not end, then the person should go to a doctor.

  1. Certain medications and herbs

Medications most commonly recommended to patients with depression or anxiety can also be a major cause of pain and other symptoms in the hard nipples and breast. Besides that, the hard nipple tenderness, pain, and sensitivity can also be caused by some herbal remedies utilized to increase breast milk quantity.

  1. Duct Ectasia

According to the American cancer society Duct Ectasia occurs most often in women who are close to their menopause. It does not increase the risk of cancer in women. However, this condition occurs when the milk duct becomes enlarged and blocked. This ultimately leads to 

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Itchiness
  • Thick discharge and many more 

However, if it is not taken seriously this condition can develop into serious Mastitis which is another type of breast infection. Antibiotics should be used in such cases. Moreover, in extreme cases blocked ducts need surgery.

  1. Breast abscesses

When there is a collection of pus in the breast it is called breast abscesses. This condition may also link to either breastfeeding or mastitis. Moreover, it is mostly due to the cracks in the skin of the hard nipples which allows bacteria to enter breast tissues.

When left untreated, these breast abscesses can cause several other problems like

  • Fever
  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Redness
  • Nipple pain

Hence, the collected pus should be drained by professional health care. Minors can be drained with the help of a syringe and needle while elders need an incision by a specialist.

  1. Eczema

Long Hard Nipples with eczema mostly look red, crusty, flaky. These make them itchy enough that even discharge is also possible.

That is why eczema is usually treated with topical hydrocortisone. But before taking the treatment one should go to a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Some other rare cases of it include mimic eczema and cancer. 

  1. Paget’s disease

It is a disease that occurs with 1 to 4 % of all types of breast cancers. It is a rare disease and its major symptoms include the following

  • Redness
  • Crusting
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Sensitivity
  • Bloody or yellow-tingled discharge
  • Change in nipple shape
  • Burning and many more 

In all such cases of hard nipples, the most common treatment which doctors prefer is the combination of surgery and radiation. Chemotherapy can also be done depending on the extent of associated cancer.

  1. Breast Cancer

Nipple pain seldom gives signals to breast cancer but it mostly shows the signs of the presence of disease. According to the American Cancer Society, these most prominent symptoms of breast cancer include 

  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Scaling
  • Thickening
  • Discharge from the nipple

Treatment for Hard Nipples 

People often use home remedies to ease sore and painful hard nipples. Some most common home remedies they utilize for this include

  1. Cold tea bags
  2. Massage
  3. Warm compresses
  4. Moisturizers
  5. Ice and many more 

Although there exists no evidence that all these are helpful in this regard, but they prove beneficial to some extent when used consistently for some period. Some may also give instant relief depending on the cause of symptoms. However, if there is any change in the shape and look of the nipple, then immediately go to a doctor for an appropriate diagnosis and take proper medication.

However, if symptoms majorly occur after exercise, then apply a topical barrier product specially designed for athletes which helps in the reduction of friction during a workout. 

When to see a doctor for a long hard nipples problem?

If your nipples get hard randomly it is normal. But if your nipples get stiff and hard with some severe symptoms like soreness or discharge you should go to a doctor immediately. If your erect nipples are due to PMS or postmenstrual syndrome, allergies or menopause then your doctor should take notice of all these symptoms you are experiencing and give you treatment properly.

Take care of your Nipples 

You should take care of your own to avoid all these diseases by some simple methods

  1. Gently clean your hard nipples
  2. Wash your boobies using warm water
  3. Use a clean and soft towel for quick drying
  4. Don’t use soap or any alcohol-based chemical which may cause them to dry out
  5. Nevertheless, no lady should feel the shame of popping headlights instead women should worry more about supporting their breasts.
  6. If the nerves that underline the breast tissues are not supported well, then any aggressive movement can disrupt them.


Q.no.1: Why are nipples hard and sore even if I am not pregnant?

Ans: There are many reasons for hard nipples. Some of them are following

  1. Breast abscess
  2. Cold weather
  3. Nipple piercing
  4. Ovulation
  5. Allergic reaction
  6. Sensitivity to any beauty or medical product and many more 

Q.no.2: How to make your nipples stand out more?

Ans: The nipples can be stimulated by squeezing and pinching them gently. Both these will make them stand out much more than ever before. 

Q.no.3: Are erect, long and hard nipples a sign of pregnancy?

Ans: No, they are not considered to be a sign of pregnancy. Rather pregnancy itself causes nipples to get hard and erect during the first trimester. 


The pointed and erect long hard nipples are a good sign while you are having sex but not in normal timings. When you are in your daily routines, try to hide them using nipple covers, padded bars, or Band-Aids. Not only, they will keep your nipples soft and comfortable, but also, they will prevent trespassing on-lookers to get you out of sight.

Check out more on Women Health Issues like Blue Waffle Disease here.

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