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Women's Health

Piercing pain in my nipple

04/23/2009

Question:

For the past 12 yrs(since the birth of my first child), I`ve experienced an unusual pain in my left nipple. It used to be frequent, but now more so during colder weather. The pain I experience is a sharp, piercing pain that causes my nipple to harden. When this happens I find that I have to massage the niple till it regains its normal state and the sharp, piercing pain is gone. I know I`ve waited along time to ask, but the question always stayed in the back of mind.

Answer:

What an interesting question! You don't say whether you have noticed any changes in the skin around the nipple other than the changes in shape, which are pretty common when the breast gets cold, is sexually stimulated, or is stimulated to "prepare" for nursing.

Usually, these changes in shape are not accompanied by pain, but rather a tingling sensation. In some people, that tingling sensation is intensified and becomes painful, which may be happening in your case.

Medications can help deal with the discomfort of a "nerve pain", but you should decide if the pain is severe and frequent enough to warrant the expense and possible side effects of the drug.

I would strongly suggest that you be vigilant about getting your mammograms and having a breast exam done by your provider every year. Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Elizabeth R Barker, APRN, BC, FNP, FAANP, CHE, PhD Elizabeth R Barker, APRN, BC, FNP, FAANP, CHE, PhD
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University