Medically the evaluation by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — created by Annamarya Scaccia — update on march 7, 2019

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You are watching: How to make your nipples hard


Is this normal?

It can happen out of nowhere. There you are, was standing in the checkout heat at a grocery store, when all of a sudden her nipples become erect. You don’t understand why that happened, and also you may be a tiny worried. Don’t be! arbitrarily nipple hardness is completely normal indigenous time to time.

The nerves in the nipple react to stimuli, both physical and also psychological. Therefore an arousing thought, change in temperature, or other as an easy as the cloth of your shirt brushing versus your skin can reason one or both of her nipples to become erect.

However, there space some basic health concerns that can additionally lead to nipple hardness. Learning the indications can aid you recognize as soon as it’s time to see your doctor.


Sometimes, the assets we use on our breasts have the right to make our nipples hard. It’s many likely since you have actually an allergy or sensitivity. Soaps, shower head gels, and lotions can trigger an allergy reaction. So can certain laundry detergents and also fabrics.

Nipple hardness is just one authorize of one allergy or sensitivity. Other symptoms you must watch because that include:

rednessitchingchappingrash

Truth is, ovulation is different for every woman. Not everyone will certainly experience common symptoms that could tip you off the you’re ovulating. Chest tenderness is one of those signs, and also it can lead to your nipples becoming hard. This happens since of a rise in estrogen levels.

Other methods you have the right to tell you ovulating include:

changes in her cervical fluidchanges in your cervix’s position or firmnessa slim dip in her body temperature once at restlight spottingpelvic ache or crampingbloatingincreased libido

Breast changes and pregnancy go hand in hand. Fluctuating hormones and an uptick in blood supply can reason your breasts to walk haywire, to be honest. Her nipples will certainly stick out an ext and flourish larger.

You may also experience:

your breasts and areolas ending up being biggeryour areolas coming to be darkeryour breasts emotion tender and sensitive

There are so many alters your body goes through during perimenopause and also menopause, it’s tough to store up. Breast tenderness is a common sign the perimenopause.

This is since your estrogen levels decrease as you acquire closer to menopause. It’s not common, however it’s feasible that your nipples come to be hard due to the fact that of the transforms in your breasts.

You can additionally expect the following throughout this stage of life:

irregular periodsproblems sleepinghot flashesmood changesvaginal drynesstrouble peeingchanges in sex drivedecreased fertility

Postmenstrual syndrome is just like premenstrual syndrome (PMS), however on the other end of menstruation. Many of the symptoms space the same, consisting of breast swelling and tenderness. And for part women, the could additionally mean their nipples come to be hard when in a while.

During postmenstrual syndrome you might experience the same transforms to your mood, behavior, and also appetite, in addition to some of the exact same physical symptoms that you would through PMS.

This includes:

muscle painbloatingfeeling tiredhaving a lack of energyheadachescrampslow sex driveconstipation or diarrheaacne flare-upsfood cravings

Your nipples can become much more or less sensitive after you have them pierced. This means that her nipples could end up being hard more often than they would’ve if girlfriend didn’t give it part bling. They might react quicker to stimuli like fabric or someone’s touch.

But if nipple piercings might look cool, they execute come v some risks. Mainly, bacteria can get in your breast from the hole created by the piercing, even if you eliminated the jewelry and let the piercing heal. Bacteria the enters her breast have the right to lead to mastitis, an epidemic of the chest tissue that reasons nipple hardness.

Other symptom of mastitis that you have to keep one eye the end for include:

breast painswellingwarmthrednessfeverchills

Your baby may have a tough time finding her nipple when they’re flat or inverted. It is why erect nipples are an essential to breastfeeding — they assist your baby. Your nipples may likewise become difficult when her baby feeds because of the stimulation.

But hard nipples throughout breastfeeding could additionally be a authorize of mastitis. In fact, breastfeeding is just one of the many common reasons of chest tissue infections in mothers. Mastitis commonly happens come breastfeeding mother in the beforehand days of childbirth, either because of clogged milk ducts or bacteria that snuck into the breast through a chapped nipple.


Bacteria that enters the chest either v a cracked or pierced nipple can cause a buildup the pus, resulting in a breast abscess. This is a very painful condition that can create hard nipples. Abscesses usually type in the breast once mastitis is left untreated.

Other indications of a breast abscess come look out for:

tender, red, hot, and also painful breastsfevermuscle painlack that energynauseaheadache

You may recognize this currently but nipples room one heck of one erogenous zone because that a many women. That’s since the tingling sensation feel by her nipples travels to the same part of the brain that receives signal from her genitals. As soon as you stimulate her nipples, her nerves tell your muscles in the area come contract, hence hardening her nipples. Her nipples can also become erect once you have actually a sexually arousing thought.

Of course, nipple hardness is simply one symptom the arousal. You might be hot and also bothered — also subconsciously! — if:

your love is beating fasteryou’re breath fasteryou come to be flushedyour vagina i do not care wet or swollen

We’ve all been there: We’re go together up, ready to brave the winter air, and bam, our nipples popular music out. The rest of you might be warm, yet that doesn’t average your nipples can’t catch a chill.

In fact, cold weather is just one of the many common causes of nipple erection. That’s since a drop in temperature simulates unique nerve cell in our nipples — the same ones that cause goosebumps. Hot weather, though, doesn’t reason quite the very same reaction v our nipples.


Let’s be honest: visible nipples obtain a negative rep. That’s why the #freethenipple campaign started 5 years ago — in order come celebrate ours beautiful nipples as soon as they’re out and also proud. However you have to do every little thing helps you feeling comfortable in her skin, whether that’s spanning up your nipples or letting them was standing out.

If you want them to stay hidden, you have plenty of options. Padded bras, nipple covers, or Band-Aids can help keep nipples the end of sight. Friend could additionally layer increase or undertake looser shirt if the feels better.

Shop because that nipple covers.


If your nipples obtain hard at random, it can be completely normal. The can take place from time to time, completely out the the blue. And sometimes, yes sir no explanation for it.

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But if nipple hardness wake up with various other symptoms, favor soreness or discharge, you need to schedule a doctor’s visit come ensure over there isn’t one underlying problem at play. And also if your erect nipples room due to problems like PMS or postmenstrual syndrome, menopause, or allergies, they’ll it is in able to help you act the various other symptoms you’re experiencing.


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Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — composed by Annamarya Scaccia — update on march 7, 2019