Innies, outies, big or small, all women have nipples. What may be useless appendages on men (why do men have nipples anyway?) are of huge significance to the female body. And you probably should know more about those little nubs on your breasts than you do. Here are some pertinent facts about your nipples:
1. Everybody’s Nipples Are Different
One of the most important facts about nipples to know is that there is no such thing the ‘perfect’ pair. No two nipples are alike and that is completely normal. Some women’s areolas are big; some women’s are small. Some women’s have little smooth bumps on them, some women’s don’t. It is really important for body confidence that you do not feel like you are the odd one out. Rest assured that absolutely everybody’s nipples are different shapes and sizes and that is completely fine.
2. Milk Production
The two distinct features that are unique to female mammals, including humans, are our hair and our ability to product milk from our breasts. Each of our nipples has approximately 15 to 20 miniscule openings, some of which are connected to milk ducts. The little white bumps on your nipples are there to let you know exactly where these little openings are, and when the time comes and you have a child, this is where the milk will be excreted from.
3. Innie Vs. Outtie
Inverted nipples are actually a fairly common occurrence for many women across the world. Between ten and twenty percent of woman have inverted nipples and they are caused by shorter than usual milk bearing ducts. Inverted nipples lay flat against the breast or even slightly pulled in. Don’t let this worry you; inverted nipples pose absolutely no health risks, but they may cause an obstacle for new mothers wanting to breast feed.
4. Erect Nipples
It is a common misconception that a woman’s nipples being erect is a sign that she is sexually aroused. Nipples can harden and become erect for a number of different reasons, many of which are not sexual in nature at all. These reasons include cold weather and friction from clothing. In fact, many women’s nipples never harden, not even when experiencing sexual excitement, further proof that you mustn’t believe the general consensus.
5. Evolutionary Advantage
It is a fun fact that human females are the only examples of mammals whose breasts and nipples remain prominent and full whether they are in the process of lactating or not. Every other mammal’s glands will only be prominent during times of pregnancy, but through the evolution of the human race females have come to have their breasts and nipples in full form permanently. This may be linked with the fact that humans are one of the very few mammal species who have sex for fun as well as procreation.
6. The Deal with Third Nipples
We have all heard stories about people having ‘third nipples’, and though these are often exaggerated for effect, the presence of a third ‘something’ is actually not uncommon. About one in every fifty females (and some men) has a type of third nipple, though they may be smaller and will not function like the two main nipples on your breasts. They are perfectly safe and nothing that you should be worried about.
7. Nipple Piercings Can Be Tricky
They were big in the 90s and have recently come back in to fashion, but something to think about if you are considering getting your nipple pierced is that it is one of the longest healing processes of any piercing, taking up to six months to completely heal! Also, make sure you go to a well-reputed piercer, as bad nipple piercings can lead to a loss of sensation.
Shall we do our own little survey? Are your nipples innies or outies?