Why Do Nipples Actually Get Hard?

Our bodies do certain things. A lot of things. And some of the things you might wonder whether they’re normal or whether you’re the only one who has this random thing going on. I’m here to reassure that a lot of the things that are going on with your body are normal and they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.

Of course, I’m sure you still have questions about some of them. For instance, have you ever stopped and thought about why nipples actually get hard? If you’ve been pondering it, allow me to clear things up for you.

So, why do nipples get hard?

There are actually many reasons why nipples get hard. Some of them are *sexual* while others aren’t. Having something rub against nipples can stimulate them/make them go hard. You might be familiar with how changes in temperature can make nips hard. Even having a sexy thought could make them go hard. Sometimes, it might seem like they randomly go hard. It might be the situation you’re in, the time of day, or it could be an aforementioned thought, or something as simple as the way your top/bra/bag strap/whatever has brushed your nipple.

There are some female-centric things that can impact nipple hardness like where you are in your ovulation cycle, pregnancy, and menopause.

What actually causes them to go hard?

Nipples are sensitive things thanks to all of the nerve endings in them. I’ll spare you the super science talk. Basically, Cosmopolitan points out that there’s a special type of nerve cell in the nipples that’s sole function is to generate “nipple erections.” Hello.

It can be awkward. Is there anything I can do about it?

I get where you’re coming from, but there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Suddenly getting hard nipples doesn’t necessarily mean you’re horny. We discussed all of the factors. What’s more, it’s something that happens to everyone — women and men. And let’s not forget about the #FreeTheNipple movement.

If you are still concerned, wearing a bra will help minimize perky nipples, especially if you choose a molded and/or padded variety. There are nipple shields, but those are more for when people are going braless.

Are there ever times when I should be concerned about hard nipples?

In most cases, even if they seem random, nipple hardness is normal. Healthline does point out there could be problems if you’re experiencing other symptoms along with nipple hardness. For instance, if your nips and/or breast area are red, itchy, inflamed, chapped, sore, or there is discharge, you will want to see your doctor. It might indicate that you have an infection or an allergy. Your GP should be able to identify the cause and get everything back to normal.

What else do you want to know about nipples? Let us know in the comments!


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