Nipples come in all shapes and sizes and we all have them, but if you have inverted nipples, it can make some women feel a bit isolated and even ashamed.
Whilst some women have nipples that are right out there and very noticeable, others might have what medical professionals refer to as shy nipples.
There is often nothing to worry about from a medical perspective if you have always had inverted nipples, although a sudden inversion would need to be checked by a doctor as it could be a symptom of an underlying issue.
Concerns about inverted nipples
Some women do understandably feel that their femininity is slightly compromised by having inverted nipples and there are certain times in our life when you might have heightened concerns about inverted nipples.
An inverted nipple is basically a nipple that is turned inside rather than pointing outwards and often looks like an indentation in the center of the areola on your breasts.
Teenage girls and pregnant women are two groups who might feel more concerned about inverted nipples at these stages of their life, from a self-conscious point of view in the case of teenagers and with regard to breastfeeding issues in regard to expectant mothers who think they might have a problem feeding their baby.
An inverted nipple can potentially make breastfeeding a bit harder to accomplish but although the milk still comes out of the nipple as normal, it does make it a bit harder for the baby to latch on to the nipple and be able to feed.
You might actually find that an inverted nipple will often evert during your pregnancy. Mother Nature seems to find a way and as the adhesions towards the base of the nipple loosen up, this elasticity helps to give your nipple a chance to make an appearance and help with breastfeeding.
Sudden nipple inversion
If you have always had inverted nipples, that is just the way you are, but if you suddenly experience nipple inversion, you should seek medical advice to see if there is an underlying reason for the change.
If a nipple suddenly inverts having previously been erect, it can be a symptom of things like mastitis or even inflammatory breast cancer, so get it checked out as soon as possible if your breasts take on a new and unexpected appearance.
Dealing with inverted nipples
The first thing to say is that if you take a look around, women have such a variety of different breast sizes, shapes and nipples.
Inverted nipples are really just another variation. However, some women do struggle to accept what they have been given and look at options like cosmetic surgery. See here for more information about the corrective surgery procedures available to make an inverted nipple erect.
You should not rush into having any surgery and take the time to think your options through. You do also need to clarify whether you intend to breastfeed at some point after having cosmetic surgery for inverted nipples, as some methods involve cutting the milk ducts, which will then not enable you to breastfeed.
Inverted nipples might feel embarrassing to some of us, but you should remember that you are definitely not alone as many women have the same issues.
Dr. Kevin Ruhge specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, body and breasts. He enjoys sharing his insights online. His articles can be found on many health, wellness and living sites.